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Carol Lee Klopfer 

To my family 

To Alejo 

And to Calvin, Karen, Chris, Richard, and Lynn, youngsters 

who taught me more about the art of counseling than any one 

else . . . and much about life and love 


Upon completion of this study, appreciation is owed to a 
number of people who made the study possible. 

To Dr. E. L. Tolbert, a man who has made genuineness, 
empathy, and unconditional positive regard a way of life, for 
assisting me in the decision to earn the PhD degree, for 
serving as my doctoral committee chairperson, and for his 

To Dr. Larry Loesch, who also served on my supervisory 
committee, for his incisive counsel, good humor, and friendship, 

To Dr. Everette Hall, third member of my committee, for 
the benefit of his experience as a therapist, warmth, and 
support . 

To the faculty of the Department of Counselor Education 
who provided the facilitative petri dish in which this 
counselor grew. 

To two friends, one new and one old: Barbara Rucker, 
who gave many hours of help with computer programs, and Marie 
Dence, the only person from whom I can gracefully accept 
editorial criticism. 

To Sharon Zahner for keypunching and to Arden Goettling 
for agreeing to do the typing from long distance. 

To Linda Moni and the counselors of the Alachua County 
schools whose interest and time expenditure came when they 


were desperately needed: Margaret Albritten, Art Stirrat, 
Wil Griffin, Bod Ream, and Phyllis George. And to Lee 
Rosenstein and Dean Mark Beard for the same reasons. 

To the teachers who allowed me to work in their class- 
rooms: Rohert Ayer, Pat Powers, Mary Sharp, George Wilson, 
Patricia Robarts, Nancy Lakey, William Monahan, Albert Losch, 
and especially Pat Baxter and Barbara Allen. 

To the students who participated in the study and wel- 
comed me into their high schools. Also to Fitz Conners and 
the members of Young Life who participated in the development 
of the questionnaire. 

And to two dear mentor/friends Dr. Margaret Korb and 
Dr. Robert Lee--Pat and Bob--whose personal and professional 
example and whose caring and understanding have meant more 
than I can express. 

Finally, to the others who in big and small ways shared 
the work: Ale jo Vada, Gary Klopfer, Maggie Klopfer, Betty Jo 
Spoto, Mary Ganikos, Lyn Clawson, Nancy McGinness, and Louis 









The "Need" for Psychotherapy Versus the Use 

of Psychotherapy 2 

Factors Differentiating Therapy Seekers from 

Nonseekers 4 

The Relationship of Information to Therapy 

Predisposition. 6 

The Present Study: Purpose and Overview. ... 9 

Notes on Terminology 10 

Counseling and Psychotherapy 10 

Perceptions of Counseling: Expectancies 

and Willingness 12 


Perceptions of Counseling. 15 

Perceptions of College Counseling 

Services 17 

Perceptions of School Counselors 21 

Public Perceptions of Psychotherapy. ... 25 

Effects of Mental Health Information: 

Nunnally ' s Findings 36 


II continued 

Acceptance of Information. 37 

Major Variables in Message Transmission. . 39 

Other Communications Variables k2 

Permanence of Message Effects ^5 

Methods of Preparing Clients for Counseling. . . ^7 

Behavioral Techniques ^7 

Procedures Related to Client Expectancies 49 

Special Procedures for Orienting Clients. 51 

Providing Information to Potential Help 

Seekers S7 

Summary 60 


Hypotheses 61 

Subjects. 63 

Measurement 6H- 

Part I: Counseling Expectancies 65 

Part II: Counseling Willingness 67 

Procedures 68 

Counseling Information Presentations 69 

Collection of Data 72 

Pilot Study. 72 

Analysis 73 


Statistical Description of the Sample 7$ 

Analysis of Experimental Results 76 


IV continued- 
Expertise 78 

Outcome 80 

Trust 82 

Genuineness 84 

Acceptance 86 

Understanding 88 

Vocational-Educational Willingness (VE).. 91 

Personal and Social Willingness (PS) 92 

Summary of Experimental Results 95 

Effects of Treatment on Expectancies 96 

Effects of Treatment on Willingness 97 

Effects of Grade Level 97 

Effects of Sex 98 

Effects of Race 98 

Interaction Effects 98 

School Differences 99 

Sample Norms 99 

Participants' Subjective Responses 100 



Discussion , , 106 

Limitations Ill 

Recommendations 113 

Conclusions 115 


vi 11 










Table Page 

1 Composition of Comparison Groups "by Sex and Race, 
Grade, and School 77 

2 Expertise Score Factorial Analysis of Variance 79 

3 Expertise Score Means by Treatment 79 

k Expertise Score Means by Sex 80 

5 Outcome Score Factorial Analysis of Variance 81 

6 Outcome Score Means by Treatment 81 

7 Outcome Score Means by Race 82 

8 Trust Score Factorial Analysis of Variance 83 

9 Trust Score Means by Treatment 83 

10 Trust Score Means by Sex 84 

11 Genuineness Score Factorial Analysis of Variance... 85 

12 Genuineness Score Means by Treatment 85 

13 Genuineness Score Means by Sex and Race 86 

Ik Acceptance Score Factorial Analysis of Variance.... 87 

15 Acceptance Score Means for Treatment Groups 

Duncan's Multiple Range Test Comparisons 87 

1.6 Acceptance Score Means by Sex 88 

17 Understanding Score Factorial Analysis of Variance. 89 

18 Understanding Score Means by Treatment 89 

19 Understanding Score Means by Grade 

Duncan' s Multiple Range Test Comparisons 90 

20 Understanding Score Means by Sex and Race 90 


Table Page 

21 Vocational-Educational Willingness Score (VE) 
Factorial Analysis of Variance 91 

22 Vocational -Educational Willingness Score Means by 
Treatment 92 

23 Vocational-Educational Willingness Score Means by 

Race . 92 

2h Personal-Social Willingness Score (PS) Factorial 

Analysis of Variance 93 

25 Personal-Social Willingness Score Means for 
Treatment Groups Duncan's Multiple Range Test 
Comparisons 9^ 

26 Personal-Social Willingness Score Means by Grade 
Duncan' s Multiple Range Test Comparisons 9.5 

27 Personal-Social Willingness Score Means by Sex 

and Race 95 

28 Expectancy Scale Values 101 

29 Willingness Scale Values 102 



Figure Page 

1. Schedule followed lor each set of four matched 

classes. 69 


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council 
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the 
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy 



Carol Lee Klopfer 

December, 1977 

Chairman: Dr. E. L. Tolbert 

Major Department: Counselor Education 

The effects of counseling information on perceptions of 
counseling were investigated. It was hypothesized that three 
forms of information- -written, oral, and a combination of 
written and oral- -would favorably influence high school stu- 
dents' counseling expectancies and willingness to use counseling, 
Effects of sex, race, and grade level were also studied. 

Twenty-eight high school classes, seven sets of four 
matched classes, were selected by school counselors. Classes 
in each set differentially received four treatment conditions: 
a booklet discussing counseling, a talk by a counselor, both 
the booklet and the talk, or no Information. From the total 
6k$ students data were collected consisting of responses to 
questionnaire items assessing six types of counseling expectancy 
and two types of counseling willingness. 

A series of factorial analyses of variance indicated that 
the effects of information were inconsistent and the experi- 
mental groups often were not significantly different from the 
control group. Across the four comparison groups, regardless 


of information, females responded more favorably to the 
measures of perceptions of counseling than males. Black 
students more often responded favorably than Caucasians, and 
underclassmen more often responded favorably than upperclass- 
men. Calculation of scale norms for the total sample showed 
that, on the average, students viewed counseling in a positive 
way. In their subjective written comments, however, some 
students were highly critical of school counseling. 



The delivery of mental health services, while improving, 
falls far short of Its possibilities , In the field of coun- 
seling it is difficult to ignore that, of the many who could 
conceivably benefit from psychotherapy, most do not receive it. 
Disquieting social realities give this issue urgency: prisons 
full of individuals who have never had a single session with 
a personal counselor; numbers of unhappy people, destined for 
psychiatric institutions, who will not contemplate psychotherapy 
until forced into it by overwhelming dysfunction; men and women 
struggling and foundering in the face of rapidly changing 
culture and economic hard times. 

Psychotherapy of course is not the sole solution to wasted 
human potential, but undoubtedly the goals of mental health 
would more adequately be served if larger segments of the 
population were reached--the severely disturbed as well as 
average people coping with the normal vicissitudes of life. 
Providing more effective public information is an important 
step toward abating what Ewalt (i960) has called "the vast 
unmet meed of the American people for help in recognizing and 
dealing with mental and emotional problems" (p. xxvi) . If 
people understood counseling services better, perhaps they 
would use them more. 

Users of psychotherapy generally go into it of their own 
volition. It is estimated that fewer than 10 percent of clients 
experience heavy outside pressure to enter therapy (Kadushin, 
1969). Szasz (19?0) has argued most convincingly that, in a 
free society, this control must he kept in the hands of the 
individual. The decision to apply for professional help, how- 
ever, requires that one's expectations of henefit not only 
justify the expenditure of time and effort "but also override 
fear and resistance of many kinds. Currently most potential 
clients are not sufficiently knowledgeable about psychotherapy 
to perceive it as relevant to their concerns or to consider it 
an appropriate source of help. Without an informed public, 
then, democratic client self-selection becomes an unworkable 
process. "Inasmuch as present services tend to graviatate 
toward the best informed," Ewalt (i960) has written, "it would 
appear that the psychologically rich get richer and the poor 
get poorer" (p. xxvi). 

The "Need" for Psychotherapy Versus the Use of 


Because of the "submerged" nature of psychological 
phenomena and the absence of a standard measure for what is 
normal and what is abnormal, no satisfactory data exist on the 
mental health status of this, or any, society (Hollingshead & 
Redlich, 1958). The number of individuals in need of psycho- 
therapy is equally inaccessible, but indications are strong 
that there are many more who could benefit from psychotherapy 
than receive it. 


Community epidemiological research has attempted to assess 
mental health needs; but as Goldberg's (1972) review of psychi- 
atric case identification studies points up, varying screening 
methods and criteria have yielded disparate results. The 
extensive Midtown Manhattan Study (Srole, Langer, Michael, 
Opler, & Rennie, I962) is often cited in discussions of pre- 
valence of mental disorder. In this survey, 23-^ percent of 
respondents were designated as psychologically impaired to the 
extent that performance of adult roles was observed or inferred 
as deficient. 

Of this one-fourth of their sample labeled impaired, the 

Manhattan researchers said, 

On the criterion of observed or inferred performance 
deficiencies in adult roles, these people in most 
cases can be assumed to need professional help of 
some kind, at best, to relieve the distress implied 
by their symptoms and tc improve their capacities 
for adult functioning, arid at the least, to reduce 
possibilities of future deterioration under normal 
or crisis circumstances of life. (pp. 1*4-5-6) 

The researchers made a rough assessment of orientation 
toward seeking professional help by asking respondents what 
they would advise two hypothetical friends with personal 
problems to do. Of the help-needy who had never had psycho- 
therapy, nearly one -half did not indicate professionals as a 
source of help and, therefore, implied that they were unlikely 
to seek psychotherapy on their own initiative. The researchers 
state that their data appear consistent with estimates made in 
comparable big-city studies. 

Other investigators have found evidence of large numbers 
of people disinclined to request psychotherapy. In a national 


survey "by Gurin, Veroff, and Feld (I960), 5 percent of adults 
said they "worried all the time," but less than one-fourth of 
them had gone to professional helpers and one-eighth said they 
"did not want" professional help. Also, of one-fifth who 
reported feelings of impending "breakdown, only one-third sought 
psychotherapy. In Eilson, Padilla, and Perkins' (19 6 5) study 
of New Yorkers, one-half could name a surgeon but only 15 per- 
cent, a psychologist. While 25 percent were able to name a 
mental health clinic, usually they could only cite Bellevue 
Hospital. In two other studies, approximately one-third of 
the clients judged to he in need of psychotherapy, and to whom 
it was offered, refused treatment (Garfield & Kurz , 1952; 
Rosenthal & Frank, 1958). 

Studies of therapy duration reveal that an additional 
number of potential clients enter therapy hut do not remain 
past an intake interview or the initial few sessions considered 
crucial for getting the therapeutic process under way, and many 
clients leave counseling without mutual agreement with their 
therapist or even discussion of termination (cf. Sullivan, 
Miller, & Smelser, 1958). 

Factors Differentiating Therapy Seekers from Nonseekers 

Since only an estimated two to four percent of the popula- 
tion go into therapy, the sheer infrequency of clients creates 
a difficulty in finding statistically comparable samples of 
noncllents for study of the factors differentiating the two 
groups. We can infer a general understanding of the characteristics 

of therapy seekers and nonseekers by comparing actual clients 
with others who nearly accepted therapy "but rejected referral 
or dropped out of therapy early- These studies reinforce the 
contention that it is not relative need for better psychological 
adjustment which draws people to therapy. 

Socioeconomic variables have repeatedly been shown as 
most significantly related to therapy orientation. Entrance 
into therapy, duration in therapy, and perceived satisfaction 
and improvement all rise concomminantly with socioeconomic 
level, whether measured in terms of income or status. Therapy 
is by and large an activity of middle-and-above class people 
who are relatively well educated and possess a degree of what 
is "success" in this society. This is despite statistics which 
indicate that the "need" for therapy is distributed in a dia- 
metrically opposite way (Auld & Myers, 195^; Cartwright, 1955; 
Cole, Branch, & Allison, 1962; Hollingshead & Redlich, 195^, 
1958; Hunt, i960; Redlich, Hollingshead, Roberts, Robinson, 
Freedman, & Myers , 1953; Robinson, Redlich, & Myers , 195^; 
Sullivan, Miller, & Smelser, 1958). 

Intelligence, a related variable, is the only other 
factor which has been found to predict therapy predisposition. 
Users of therapy produce higher intelligence test scores and 
also tend to be better educated than nonusers (Dana, 195^; 
Heilbrun, 196la, 196lb, 1970; Kirtner & Cartwright, 1958; 
Rosenberg, 195^; Strickland & Crowne s 1963; Taulbee, 1958). 

Attempts to use personality testing and assessments of 
counseling readiness to predict client participation have not 


provided a reliable indicator. It does appear from personality- 
studies, however, that the most psychologically "needy" are 
less likely to become clients than their better adjusted peers 
(Affleck & Mednick, 1959; Barron, 1953a, 1953b; Gallagher, 195^; 
Heilbrun, 196la, 196lb, 196^, 1966; Heilbrun & Sullivan, 1962; 
Hiler, 1959; Libo , 1957; Resnikoff, Brady, & Zeller, 1959; 
Roberts, 195^5 Rogers & Hammond, 1953; Rogers, Knauss, & 
Hammond, 1951; Windle, 1952). 

The Relationship of Information to Therapy Predisposition 

The greater use of psychotherapy by socially advantaged 
perople can be accounted for, to a large degree, by this group's 
proximity to therapy-predisposing information. According to 
the sociological model of help seeking provided by Kadushin 
(I969), people are likely to move from the experience of per- 
sonal distress toward the office of a therapist to the extent 
that their position in society exposes them to sources of infor- 
mation which promote the efficacy of professional help. Better 
educated and higher socioeconomic-level people, because of their 
schooling, the books they read, the lectures the attend, are 
prepared to accept psychodynamic explanations for their problems. 
Also, their circle of friends and associates is prone to discuss 
life issues in "mental" terms, and their acquaintances may 
include individuals who have undergone therapy as well as 
workers in mental health professions. Thus, advantaged people 
are socially situated to identify their problems as psychological, 
to receive answers to their questions about the process of 
therapy, and even to be directed to particular practitioners. 

Quite a different orientation toward problems is found in 
the lower socioeconomic milieu. Living considerably at the 
mercy of the environment, an individual of little means is 
disposed to view life difficulties as beyond personal control. 
For a person with little education, there is no rationale for 
viewing stress psychodynamically. Friends and associates, who 
also have limited resources, are apt to share this externalized 
perspective and reinforce passive acceptance of "fate." Among 
unaf fluent people, professional help is likely to be defined 
as the services of familiar agencies which provide physical 
rather than psychological assistance. 

For the lower socioeconomic-level person, moreover, lack 
of knowledge and distance from sources of information are not 
the only barriers to psychotherapeutic help. Riessman and 
other writers have furnished extensive evidence that, in 
dozens of ways, psychotherapy is geared to and biased in favor 
of middle- and upper-class clients (Riessman, Cohen, & Pearl, 
1964) . If the poor are slow to recommend psychotherapy to 
their friends, this may be a result of the well-documented 
insensitivity of professionals to cultural orientations dif- 
ferent from their own. 

It would, however, be incorrect to assume that a pro- 
pensity to use psychotherapy is inherent and widespread among 
people who are well off. Redlich, Hollingshead, and Bellis 
(1955) observed misunderstanding and hostility toward psycho- 
therapy in all strata of society, including the supposedly 
well-informed: in panels of lawyers, clergymen, and teachers, 

for example, and in over one-third of medical men. In pretherapy 
interviews with psychiatry applicants, Redlich and colleagues 
found little difference between the attitudes of middle-class 
people~~small "business proprietors, white collar workers, and 
skilled laborers— and the fear and reluctance of poorly educated 
unskilled and semiskilled workers from the most crowded sections 
of New York. Both groups were also largely ignorant about 
therapy. Although mure of the middle -class applicants had 
some understanding of the treatment, their knowledge consisted 
of little more than that the therapist employs "mental" tech- 
niques. Typical or both groups were such comments as, "Psychi- 
atry is fine for crazy people but it can't help me." 

Persons from all walks of life are disinclined, if not 
hostile, toward psychotherapy. The infrequent use of therapy 
is a complex issue, but it is reasonable to assume that people 
are not quick to avail themselves of services which they only 
vaguely comprehend. Nunnally (1961) surveyed a large sample 
of the American population and concluded that the average 
citizen is not grossly misinformed about mental health, but 
certain groups — notably, the less educated--hold many beliefs 
that are inaccurate; furthermore, while not mis informed, most 
people are considerably uninformed. Gurin and others (i960), 
analyzing the help-seeking patterns of a national sample, 
found distribution of services to lower status people so 
inferior that it constitutes a "special social problem." 
Another finding was that nine percent of their sample at some 
time in their lives were "ready for self-referral" but did not 


apply for psychotherapy. A major reason which these people gave 
for not seeking help was "lack of knowledge about where to go 
or what to do in order to get help." 

The Present Study: Purpose and Overview 

Writers on the subject of help seeking have repeatedly 
said that potential clients need to be apprised of what occurs 
behind the therapist's closed door. Client constituencies also 
are entitled to information on when and how to apply for help. 
As Shertzer and Stone (197*0 have expressed it, "an important 
objective for every counselor is enlightening our society as 
to the legitimate goals and realistic limitations of counseling" 
(p. 87). 

The present study is one of the first research attempts 
to assess the efficacy of disseminating counseling information 
to potential clients. Brief and economical presentations of 
information are given and the responses of the recipients 
analyzed. It is not expected that a single informational 
experience will have sweeping impact upon therapy-seeking 
behavior but that a presentation of information can facilitate 
the ongoing process of "learning about therapy" which Kadushin 
(I969) has called essential to the decision to enter therapy. 
One presentation of information, if effective, may incline an 
individual to seek and accept further information and pre- 
dispose him or her to make an informed decision to use coun- 
seling, should it at some point in life be appropriate. 

Participants in the study are school adolescents in their 
usual classroom settings. The presentations of counseling 
information they receive are in three forms: a "booklet , a talk 
given by a counselor, and a combination of the booklet and the 
talk. In general content, the booklet and the talk are identi- 
cal, covering the following topics: 

1. The range of appropriate uses of counseling 

2. Types of counseling and counseling activities 
3- The counseling process 

k. How counseling help may be obtained. 
Six hypotheses are tested by comparing the recipients of each 
form of information and a control group (receiving no presenta- 
tion) , using measures of counseling expectancies and willingness 
to use counseling. Results are discussed in terms of the use- 
fulness of Information in altering perceptions of counseling 
which may facilitate help seeking. 

Notes on Terminology 

Counseling and Psychotherapy 

The use of the terms "counseling" and "psychotherapy" in 
this study requires explication. In general and theoretical 
discussions, the two terms are used interchangeably. In 
references to previous research, the term chosen by the investi- 
gator being reviewed is retained. In the experimental presenta- 
tions of information delivered to high school youth, only 
counseling is mentioned. 


In each case, the concept denoted Is the same: the psycho- 
logical helping process which aims "to help individuals toward 
overcoming obstacles to their personal growth . . . and toward 
achieving optimum development of their personal resources" 
(American Psychological Association, 1956) . 

For broad discussions of the delivery of mental health 

services to the public, the choice of one term over the other 

could only be arbitrary. As Patterson (1966) writes, 

There are no essential differences between counseling 
and psychotherapy in the nature of the relationship, 
in the process, in the methods or techniques, in 
goals or outcomes (broadly defined), or even in the 
kinds of clients involved. (p. 3) 

The terms "counseling" and "psychotherapy" arise from two 
historical streams which have developed into present-day 
psychological services: "counseling" from the mental health 
and vocational guidance movements In our society and "psycho- 
therapy" from the medical tradition. It was found, in reviewing 
the literature backgrounding this study, that investigators in 
hospital clinics most often referred to psychotherapy while 
those in educational and other nonmedical settings spoke of 

Some writers (e.g., Tyler, 1958) restrict the focus of 
counseling to growth and actualization processes, removing 
from it the repair-of-damage implications associated with therapy, 
This emphasis on the positive makes an Important point. There 
does exist a connotative difference between the terms "coun- 
seling" and "psychotherapy." Research into client views of 
differently titled help givers, for example, indicates that 


counselors are seen as more understanding and warm, less probing 
and powerful. (See Chapter II.) Because of this benign coun- 
selor image, it was decided to refer only to counseling in the 
informational presentations used in this study with school 
Perceptions of Counseling; Expectancies and Willingness 

Counseling perception, as the concept Is used in this 
study, simply refers to how an individual views counselors and 
their work, either generally or along specific dimensions. 
Perceptions, opinions, conceptions, attitudes, and feelings 
about counseling are kin concepts; all are used to describe 
level of positive-negative disposition toward counseling, and 
all comprise both direct and intuitive cognitions. It is 
assumed that perceptions of counseling have two origins, 
actual experience with counselors and information received 
formally or informally from other sources. 

Perceptions of counseling are explored in this study in 
terms of two instrumentally defined types of counseling orienta- 
tion, expectancies of counseling and willingness to use coun- 
seling. Expectancies (or expectations) of counseling are 
future-oriented beliefs about counseling. They are notions 
the potential client, has of what will happen if he or she 
should enter counseling; for example, "I expect to get the 
help I need." The expectancy measure that is used is a list 
of positive expectancies related to eight dimensions of coun- 
seling. High degree of agreement with the items is taken to 
be an indication of positive orientation toward counseling. 

Willingness to use counseling is an individual's readiness, 
receptiveness , or motivation toward making use of counseling 
services. The willingness measure is a list of topics often 
discussed in counseling. High degree of expressed willingness 
to discuss these issues with a counselor is taken as an indica- 
tion of positive orientation toward counseling. 

The meaningfulness of counseling perceptions is discussed 
in Chapter II . Details of the instrument used to measure 
expectancies and willingness are given in Chapter III. 


In the field o.f counseling, little is known about the 
use of information to help potential clients understand the 
services available to them. The first study evaluating the 
influence of information upon people's perceptions of coun- 
seling appeared only a few years ago. The researchers, Gelso 
and McKenzie (1973). prefaced their report by saying, 

No research heretofore has examined the efficacy 
of various modes of information dissemination in 
correcting the miscommunications between counselors 
and other groups. Thus, much time and effort have 
been spent identifying the problem, but little 
energy has been exerted in studying means of 
remedying it. (p. kOo) 

Several related lines of investigation, however, form 
a background against which the effectiveness of counseling 
information can be assessed. Some surveys have been done to 
assess perceptions of therapy held by certain counseling con- 
stituencies and the general public, showing that there is 
widespread inadequacy of knowledge regarding counselors and 
their work. Also, experiments on the transmission of mental 
health information have demonstrated the capability of simple 
communications to modify people's conceptions of psychological 
issues. Additionally, a number of pretherapy procedures 
designed to ready counselees for their role have been found 
successful. The conclusions of these studies point to provision 



of information as a promising method of facilitating help 

Perceptions of Counseling 

Psychotherapy literature has always contained the idea 
that the client's comprehension of therapy is essential to 
treatment. Freud, in his writings, expressed his belief that 
the intelligent patient was most suited to psychoanalysis (cf., 
1950, pp. 249-263). Subsequent attempts to identify the suc- 
cessful client have consistently pointed to the person who is 
quick to learn and perceptive of therapy as a source of relief. 
Carl Rogers (1951, 1957), in his client-centered therapy, 
emphasized the provision of therapeutic conditions which would 
work personality change with any client- -"but only within the 
context of "psychological contact," a relationship in which 
the client perceives the warmth, accurate empathy, and congru- 
ence emitted by the therapist. 

Rotter (195^), Kelly (1955), Frank (1959, 1961), Lennard 
and Bernstein (i960), and Goldstein (1962a, 1962b) have most 
significantly spoken to the importance of the client's under- 
standing as a determinant of the course of therapy. Rotter 
(1954) declared the necessity of what he called "successive 
structuring" of the therapy process, periodic discussion to 
clarify goals, roles, plans, responsibilities, and attitudes 
with the client. Kelly (1955) theorized that response to 
therapy is dependent upon the client's initial ways of con- 
ceptualizing the interaction, especially in terms of role 

expectancies. Frank (1959. 196l) described the dynamics of 
the therapeutic relationship as related to the client's belief 
or faith in the power of the process. He was also among the 
first to explain how divergent therapist and client expect- 
ancies can produce a breakdown in communication and lead to 
therapy failure. Lennard and Bernstein (i960) provided, a 
systematic view of therapeutic communications as interrelated 
with expectations, showing that dissimilar client and therapist 
expectations produce strain, or disequilibrium, on the structure 
of communication. Goldstein (1962a, 1962b) extensively 
examined the accumulated theoretical and experimental work 
on patient and therapist expectancies in the light of what is 
known about other forms of anticipatory human behavior and 
confirmed expectancies to play "clearly ... a significant 
role in psychotherapeutic interaction, demonstrably accounting 
for a portion of improvement" (1962a, p. 79) j specifically, 
his research review indicated that the most therapeutic change 
can be predicted in clients whose role expectancies are com- 
patible with the therapist's and whose outcome expectancies 
are moderate and. realistic. 

Thus, clients approaching psychotherapy conceptualize 
the process in differing ways, and it is generally accepted 
that early perception of therapy is an important determinant 
of the course and outcome of treatment. Less is known, however, 
about the period prior to therapy entry, when the prospective 
client makes the decision to seek help. Conceivably, cog- 
nitive variables have their strongest influence at this point, 

when anticipation of "benefit must win out over resistance to 
change and fear of self-confrontation. 
Perceptions of College Counseling Services 

Part of our knowledge of potential clients' perceptions 
of counseling comes from a number of surveys conducted among 
student groups. Most of these were the efforts of college 
counseling center personnel and secondary school counselors, 
concerned that their image limited student use of their ser- 
vices. By the 1960's, the counseling profession had thoroughly 
outgrown its traditional function of vocational and educational 
testing and advising; and counselors, trained in the psychology 
of personality and in psychotherapeutic theory and practice, 
made themselves available for work in personal development as 
well. Yet, as Bordin (1955) had pointed out earlier, student 
clients were making a distinction between "counseling" and 
"psychotherapy"; they saw counseling as an information- 
oriented resource, helpful in reasoning through a particular 
decision, but not appropriate for the in-depth exploration of 
personal problems and emotional issues. Bordin called for the 
use of campus media to clarify the counselor's role and recom- 
mended further study into client anticipations and expectations. 

In one assessment of campus counseling views by King and 
Matte son (1959), a representative sample of students rated 
their willingness to take each of k-0 problems to the university 
counseling center. The results supported Bordin 's assertion; 
students preferred educational, vocational, social, and per- 
sonal problems--in that order--for discussion at the center. 

Individuals tended to select either educational and vocational 
types of problems or social and personal types, but not both, 
as appropriate for counseling. The students who were most 
willing to use campus counseling facilities were those who 
had previously visited the counseling center. 

Similar conclusions were reached by Warm an (1961). Using 
a check list of problems related to three f actors--college 
routine, vocational choice, and personal-social adjustment-- 
he compared several campus groups' perceptions of counseling 
topic appropriateness. Counseling center staff, college 
personnel workers, teaching faculty members, and counseled 
and uncounseled students, all agreed that vocational counseling 
was most appropriate for the university counseling center; but 
the counselors rated personal and social adjustment problems 
as significantly more appropriate for counseling than did any 
other group. Echoing Brodin, Warman suggested that practi- 
tioners orient other groups to the kinds of problems with 
which they feel they can be helpful. 

A decade later, Resnick and Gelso (1971) replicated the 
Warman study to determine whether counselors were closing the 
communication gap between themselves and other university 
people. Using the revised Counseling Appropriateness Check- 
list (Warman, I.96I) , they found that counselors still viewed 
personal and social adjustment as more appropriate for dis- 
cussion at the counseling center than did other groups; 
however, the perceptions of others, particularly student 
personnel workers, had moved somewhat closer to those of the 
counseling staff. 

Two other surveys using Warman's check list have recon- 
firmed that the function of college counselors is not seen as 
they would like it to he seen. Student clients and nonclients 
(Gelso, Karl, & O'Connell, 1972) and several campus groups 
including students' parents (Wilcove & Sharp, 1971) all rated 
personal and social matters as appreciably less appropriate 
for the counseling center than did. center staff. 

Research on student perceptions of their university coun- 
seling services has also examined how the counselors themselves 
are seen. Bordin (195-1) had called attention to the title 
"counselor" as distinguished in the student mind from the term 
"therapist." He reported that college students viewed the 
counselor as "fatherly, someone you could lean on . . . under- 
standing and forgiving" hut, at the same time, "impersonal and 
objective" (p. 17). This contradiction was not troublesome, 
Bordin explained, because students expected to discuss in 
counseling only rather superficial, decision-oriented issues 
and, therefore, assigned little importance to the counselor's 
personal characteristics. 

Strong, Hendel, and Bratton (1971) have provided current 
data on college students' views of campus help givers. On a 
100-item adjective check list and list of nine problem topics 
which might be discussed with helping persons, female under- 
graduates rated their perceptions of counselors, advisors, and 
psychiatrists. The women regarded counselors as more like 
advisors than like psychiatrists. They considered counselors 
to be friendly, polite, warm "nice guys," comfortable to be 


with; but they felt psychiatrists were intelligent, decisive, 
analytical, cold, humorless, and rejecting. Vocational and 
educational problems might be taken to an advisor or a coun- 
selor; but the psychiatrist, not the counselor, was clearly 
the most likely choice for such difficult personal concerns as 
getting along with friends, uncomfortable feelings and emotions, 
and sexual distress, 

Gelso and Karl (197-1) extended the work of Strong et al. , 
using more helper labels: high school counselor, advisor, 
college counselor, counseling psychologist, clinical psycholo- 
gist, and psychiatrist. Their use of the same 100-item check 
list and nine problem items with male and female students 
produced no "nice guy" distinction for the counselor. More 
difficult personal problems were again perceived to be within 
the domain of the psychiatrist first, with the two psycholo- 
gists next likely to be consulted. These three professionals 
were described as more knowledgeable, inquisitive, and 
analytical than the counselor; the counseling psychologist 
was considered more casual and flighty; and the psychiatrist, 
more powerful, interesting, tactful, and accurate. 

Since university counseling staff are often trained in 
clinical and counseling psychology and offer more than voca- 
tional and educational services, Gelso and Karl recommended 
that counselors more adequately inform the public of their role 
and clarify the meaning of their title. 

The above studies imply that students are not aware of 
the full range of services available from their counseling 

centers. Bearing this out further, a survey of reasons students 
do not use university counseling facilities (Snyder, Hill, & 
Derksen, 1972) found that undergraduates were generally in 
favor of the concept of counseling and unafraid of stigma 
attached to seeking therapy; yet they reported little knowledge 
about their college counseling center or about the counseling 
process, and they preferred to turn to friends and close 
relatives for help with personal and social problems rather 
than to professionals. Related findings from a study of 
undergraduates* expectations of counseling (Tinsley & Harris, 
1976) showed that students believe that counseling is in 
general a helpful service, but they are rather doubtful that 
it could be useful to them. They strongly believed in the 
expertise of counselors and that counselors are genuine, 
accepting, and trustworthy, but they did not expect that they 
could be understood or helped in counseling. 
Perceptions of School Counselors 

The first school counselors were teachers; and, since the 
professionalization of the school counseling specialty, 
counselors in secondary schools have had a most difficult 
time establishing themselves as a resource for students with 
other than school-related matters. Expecially during the 1960's, 
an outpouring of counseling literature declared the central 
concern of school counselors to be the developmental and 
emotional needs of the total youngster (e.g., American School 
Counselor Association, 19&3; Wrenn, 1962) . This prompted a 
number of studies into how the school counselor is perceived. 

Dunlop (1965) surveyed opinions of what school counselors 
should do. Counselor educators, secondary school administra- 
tors, counselors, teachers, college-preparatory and. job-hound 
seniors, and mothers of students, all agreed that educational 
and vocational counseling were appropriate, and all except 
job-bound students and their mothers were in favor of testing 
as a counselor's task. Personal counseling received general 
approval, but students showed significantly less enthusiasm 
for this service. The college-hound seniors indicated by 
their remarks that the school counselor was "a good choice 
for personal counseling when no one else was available" (p. 1026) 
Furthermore, students, parents, and teachers rejected some 
behaviors which counselors consider integral to the therapist- 
role. They did not want counselors to allow counselees to 
speak freely without fear of punishment or correction. They 
condoned advice-giving, and they felt that counselors should 
teach students the difference between right and wrong. 

Dunlop concluded that the counselor is perceived in the 
school as merely "a helpful person whose function is largely 
one of providing assistance to students in their efforts to 
achieve academic success" (p. 102?). If counselors are to be 
distinguished from teachers, he wrote, they must educate other 
school personnel and the public about their competencies. 

how the school counselor is regarded by colleagues is 
likely to influence student use of counseling services. A 
recent paper by Wittrner and Loesch (1975) described teachers' 
lack of trust and respect for counselors as related to inadequate 

understanding. Their survey revealed that a number of teachers 
view counselors as secretive and involved too little with 
disciplinary and teaching duties. Although teachers in 
elementary schools were more satisfied than secondary school 
teachers with the performance of counselors, many of the edu- 
cators considered counselors to he "priviledged" people and 
tended to wonder what counselors do with their time. With 
this evidence, the researchers stated that counselors could 
improve their relationships with teachers by applying their 
human relations skills to letter role communication. 

A group of school principals, Schmidt (1962) found, agreed 
that the counselor's main activity should he counseling stu- 
dents, rather than teaching or clerical tasks. In this study, 
principals and counselors concurred that school counseling is 
primarily vocational and educational work, hut hoth reported 
that they would prefer counseling to focus on personal and 
social problems. 

Students themselves, however, have not perceived the 
school counselor as a particularly good resource for personal 
matters. Surveys hy Gibson (1962), Grant ( 195*0 » and Kennedy 
and Fredrickson (1969) have clearly shown that high school 
students are most willing to discuss educational and vocational 
planning with their counselors but would rather approach non- 
school people, usually friends and family, for personal help. 
Graduating seniors responding to a questionnaire by Roemmich 
and Schmidt (1962) reported, moreover, that parents and family 
had given them more assistance in selecting and planning for 


college than had counselors. Junior high school students in a 
study by Van Riper (1971) said that, overall, counselors had 
been more helpful to them than other school personnel hut less 
helpful than other students. 

Perhaps students are reluctant to go to their counselors 
with emotional issues because they mistakenly believe that 
professional assistance is reserved for people who are very 
disturbed or dysfunctional. Heilfron (i960) found support for 
this contention. Using a questionnaire devised by Robinson 
(1953). Heilfron asked a group of high school students to rate 
brief descriptions of hypothetical adolescents, specifying the 
degree of counseling indicated in each case. The students 
recommended minimal counseling for attractive youngsters 
doing well in school and displaying no overt emotional handi- 
caps. They prescribed more frequent counseling for youngsters 
with obvious problems, but they reached strong agreement for 
maximum counseling, regular sessions or referral to an outside 
therapist, only in the case of a boy who was clearly behavior 
disordered. Heilfron concluded that students associate intense 
counseling with extreme deviance and are unaware of the role 
developmental counseling might play in helping those who are 
functioning adequately. 

Perrone, Weiking, and Nagel (1965) administered the same 
questionnaire to junior high school students, teachers, and 
parents. The resulting opinions of counseling need were similar 
to those found by Heilfron, but parents preferred somewhat more 
intensive counseling than did their children, while teachers 

favored less. The counseling needs of student participants 
in the study, Inferred from self-report on the Mo one y Problem 
Checklist , were largely unrelated to their, or their parents', 
estimates of hypothetical youngsters' need for services. 

Apparently, the school counseling specialist is not seen 
as an essential resource for the developmental and emotional 
needs of students. The studies cited show that the counselor 
is not highly regarded in the school, not trusted, not under- 
stood, and not sought out. School counselors are undoubtedly 
performing Important, if not highly visible, functions. The 
fact remains, however, that lack of student recognition 
severely limits the counselor's capability to provide psycho- 
logical help. It has been said that "word-of -mouth advertising" 
is the primary mode of promoting the counselor's image in the 
school (Morgan, 197^) • It seems this form, of publicity is 
insufficiently conveying the message of counselor availability 
and c omp e t e n c e . 
Public Perceptions of Psychot herapy 

By cultural definition, psychotherapy is the designated 
treatment in this society for certain forms of human distress. 
The public, however, is not of one mind in its perceptions of 
therapy. People with dissimilar lifestyles and associates are 
likely to have divergent view of therapy. City dwellers, for 
example, do not view therapy in the same way as rural inhab- 
itants. Workers in the occupational fields of health, education, 
communications, and art often think' differently about therapy 
than those in engineering, law, and business. Sophisticated 

and well read people discuss therapy in ways that others might 
not comprehend. 

Social influence is powerful in the formation of per- 
ceptions. It is particularly a determinant of perceptions 
regarding psychotherapy "because, lacking firsthand knowledge, 
most people must rely upon impressions gathered from others. 
An explanation of how social influence is related to therapy 
orientation is Kadushin" s (I969) theory of the "Friends and 
Supporters of Psychotherapy." In a study of nearly fifteen 
hundred applicants to New York psychiatric clinics, Kadushin 
found that talking with others often precedes help seeking. 
Many applicants had several characteristics in common: 

1. Knowing others with problems similar to their own. 

2. Knowing a friend who had been in therapy. 

3- Having discussed going to a clinic with some other- 

4. Having asked friends for recommendations to clinics 
or practitioners. 

Kadushin hypothesized the existence in urban society of 
indirect chains of acquaintance through which people become 
therapy "insiders," not necessarily users of psychotherapy 
themselves but sophisticated promoters of its efficacy. Insiders 
transmit their knowledge and endorsement of psychotherapy to 
colleagues and social contacts, forming a bridge between 
potential clients and professional help. 

Insiders share a number of perceptions related to therapy 
use. They see value in discussing personal matters with others 


and perceive themselves as having problems for which a therapist 
might he sought. They do not dislike psychiatric patients and 
are unafraid to admit that they themselves might benefit from 
therapy. Also, their expectations of therapy are in line with 
those of therapists. They do not think of theropv us advice 
giving, and they feel that the client, not the therapist, 
should do most of the talking. 

According to Kadushin, insiders are usually well educated, 
successful people who move in social circles which support 
their high regard for therapy. Others, for example lower socio- 
economic -level people, can become insiders as well, but they 
must enter therapy by some other means than through acquaint- 
ances and then become insiders due to the experience. It 
should be made clear, however, that the network of friends 
which Kadushin describes is a small phenomenon, relatively 
ineffectual in the total society. Most people are "outsiders" 
who have little familiarity with the use of psychotherapy. 

Low er socioeconomic-level per cept ions. The therapy 
perceptions of lower socioeconomic-status people have received 
particular study because of this group's disinclination to use 
psychotherapy. Lack of knowledge and understanding of therapy 
is a probable factor in. their reluctance. Incongruity between 
lower socioeconomic life experience and the basic concepts of 
therapy is another. 

The irrelevance of traditional therapy for the concerns 
of the poor lias been discussed in a number of papers (Erager, 
1964; Cole, Branch, & Allison, 1962 ; Hunt, I960; Riessman, 

Cohen, &. Pearl, 1964). Psychotherapy has been, in Brager's 
(1964) words, "owned and operated by middle class persons" 
(p. 415) and inflexible to the style and needs of low-income 
culture,, Lists of the characteristics of likely clients, 
compared with the qualities of low- income people, show this 
clearly. The persons for whom traditional therapy seems to 
have been designed, for example, tend to internalize their 
problems, blaming themselves and not their environment. They 
are active participants, not passive cooperators. They value 
self-control, ego strength, individualism, and motivation. 
They are, in short, upward-striving individuals imbued with 
middle-class mentality. People closer to the struggle for 
sheer survival are more concerned with solutions to day-to-day 
matters. Often in crisis, they are in need of immediate help 
offered in direct and forthright terms, not insight development. 

Lower socioeconomic people's lack of information about 
therapy is no doubt related to their lower level of formal 
schooling. Nunnally's (196l) large-scale survey of American 
mental health conceptions showed that adults with less than a 
high school education are most likely to have inaccurate beliefs 
about psychological matters. Research on perceptions of psycho- 
therapy, however, has not found lower socioeconomic-status 
people differing greatly from the middle class. 

Redlich et al. (1955), comparing views of middle class and 
lower socioeconimic-level psychiatric patients in pretherapy 
interviews, found much similarity in the expectations of the 
two groups. Both groups were fearful and ashamed, associating 

therapy with "craziness . " The middle-class interviewees were 
only slightly more knowledgeable about therapy. Both groups 
presented somatic problems and asked for "pills and shots"; 
both lacked confidence in the "talking treatment" and wanted 
sympathy, authority, and practical, Followed through 
the course of therapy, however, the middle-class clients more 
often came to accept their therapists' notions of the thera- 
peutic process, while lower socioeconomic -level patients tended 
to remain dissatisfied. 

Some years later, Overall and Aronson (1962) surveyed the 
therapy.expectations of kO lower socioeconomic-level clients 
entering psychiatric clinics. The results were puzzling. The 
respondents tended to answer positively to most of the 35 items 
of the questionnaire, indicating— at face value— simultaneous 
anticipations of active, medical, supportive, dynamic, and 
passive therapist behavior. The researchers speculated that 
there might have been a general set among those surveyed to 
reply "yes," A finding which especially surprised the investi- 
gators was that the potential clients reported strong expectations 
that they would deal with emotional and dynamic material in 

Conceivably, the research over the years represents a 
trend in which psychiatric outpatient clinic applicants are 
becoming more sophisticated regarding treatment. In a recent 
survey, Lorion (197*0 uncovered no significant differences in 
help-seeking orientation or treatment expectancies among clinic 
applicants of middle-, lower middle--, and lower socioeconomic 


status. On a measure of help-seeking attitudes, all groups 
expressed confidence in the efficacy of treatment, recognized 
the need for help, perceived little stigma attached to therapy, 
and showed a willingness to discuss personal matters. On a 
questionnaire similar to that devised by Overall and Aronson, 
their scores showed that they did not anticipate a highly sup- 
portive, problem-solving therapist, that they could differentiate 
psychotherapy from medical care, and that they expected to focus 
on emotional issues. 

General perceptions . Two extensive investigations of 
perceptions related to therapy are Gurin, Veroff, and Feld's 
(i960) survey of mental health adjustment and help-seeking 
modalities and Nunnally's (1961) series of studies into popular 
conceptions of mental health. 

Gurin, Yeroff, and Feld (i960) examined the mental health 

orientation of 2 5 460 representative American adults. One focus 

of this study was to determine the methods people use to handle 

life problems, providing a broad perspective on the use of 

professional help. In general, the researchers concurred with 

what is found throughout the literature on help seeking, 

The tendency to turn to professional help when 
faced with personal problems was found to be 
associated with introspection, with structuring 
distress in personal and interpersonal rather than 
external terms, with self -questioning more than a 
dissatisfied or unhappy reaction toward life roles, 
with psychological rather than physical symptoms, 
(p. 298") 

Their data show that desire for therapeutic change is not 

widespread. Only Ik percent of those interviewed reported that 

at some time in their lives they had gone to a professional 

resource for assistance with a personal problem. In two-thirds 
of these cases, the helper sought was not a mental health pro- 
fessional. Sources of help most often mentioned were clergymen 
and physicians. Respondents also recalled seeking counsel from 
lawyers, teachers, nurses, policemen, and judges. Choice of a 
professional was apparently dependent; upon the content of the 
problem; for example, trouble with a child might prompt a 
parent to confer with a schoolteacher. Less than one-fourth of 
the help seekers considered themselves to be the locus of the 
problems they discussed; even a "nervous breakdown" was more 
often defined as a collapse in the face of some external stress 
than as a personal adjustment difficulty. Most who asked for 
help indicated that they wanted comfort, reassurance, or advice, 
not self-examination . 

Aside from the help seekers, a segment of their sample 
which particularly interested Gurin and his colleagues was a 
"critical group" --nine percent of respondents who said they 
believed that a professional could have been useful to them 
with a problem in the past, but did not go for help. The 
reasons these people gave for not applying for assistance were 
ones commonly cited by mental health experts as deterrents to 
the help-seeking process: lack of knowledge about where to go 
or what to do in order to get help, aversion to shame and 
stigma, and desire to work problems out alone. The critical 
group appeared to be as psychologically accessible as the people 
who actually sought help, but they tended to have less money 
and less education and were more often from rural areas. Half 


of them attempted in some way to solve their difficulties on 
their own. Others reported withdrawing from the distress situ- 
ation or doing nothing. 

Among the large group which had never made use of profes- 
sional help, most stated that they probably would not use it 
in the future. This so-called "self help" group did not 
actually make unusual use of their own or informal resources 
for troubles, particularly if they were old, uneducated, or 
poor; nor were they happier than help seekers. They were less 
introspective and less inclined to phrase problems in psycho- 
logical terms. Like the critical group, they tended to have 
lower incomes than help seekers and to be rural people. 

Examining the characteristics of the three groups--help 
seekers, those who almost sought help, and those who would not 
seek help--the researchers identified two types of factors 
operating in the use of mental health resources. Psychological 
factors were subjective perceptions associated with the desir- 
ability of professional help: intrcspectiveness, phrasing of 
distress in terms of personal problems and self-questioning, 
focusing on personal and interpersonal aspects of life, and 
reporting psychological rather than physical symptoms. Facili- 
tating factors were circumstantial considerations connected 
with help accessibility: actual availability of resources in 
the community, knowledge of these resources, and the extent 
to which going for help is the "thing to do" in one's social 

Psychological and facilitating factors effect the help- 
seeking process in different ways. This can be seen if help 


seeking is viewed as a sequence of three decisions: 

1. Whether or not the problem will be defined as a mental 
health problem. 

2. Whether or not to go for help with the problem. 

3. Choosing where to go. 
Psychological considerations, the researchers hypothesized, are 
most clearly relevant to the first decision point, while facili- 
tating factors are more influential in the last two decisions. 
This analysis of psychological and facilitating factors implies 
that potential clients need two types of mental health infor- 
mation, education on how to recognize mental health problems 
and instruction on how to obtain help. 

The second large-scale examination of the mental health 
orientation of the public is a series of investigations reported 
by Munnally (1961). Nunnally and his research team applied 
diverse data-gathering methods to such topics as public knowl- 
edge of mental health matters, views of mental illness and 
treatment, and mass media presentations of mental health issues. 
Although this work does not focus directly on the use of 
psychotherapy, the conclusions are helpful in understanding 
therapy perceptions and, it will be seen, provide important 
preliminary information for the second phase of Nunnally 's 
research in which mental health communications variables are 

To study general mental health knowledge, the investi- 
gators administered a 50-item questionnaire of possible mental 
health beliefs to several groups considered to resemble a 


cross-section of the general population. (In most of Nunnally's 
studies, subjects were selected from a pool approximating the 
United States population in terms of education, age, sex, and 
other demographic characteristics.) Individual responses con- 
tained many inconsistencies, and overall responses produced 
low correlations under factor analysis, leading the researchers 
to conclude that the public's mental health information is not 
highly structured or crystalized and that people are tentative 
and uncertain in their opinions. As previously mentioned, 
although most people were not grossly misinformed on mental 
health issues, they were rather uninformed; and certain groups, 
notably the older and less well educated, did possess much 
erroneous knowledge . 

Another group of studies assessed attitudes toward the 
mentally ill, using rating scales, ranking methods, the Semantic 
Differential technique, and "free association" tests. The 
results revealed that the notion of stigma associated with 
mental illness is well entrenched in reality. Young and old, 
the well educated and the relatively unschooled, all tended to 
regard the mentally ill person as comparatively dangerous, dirty, 
unpredictable, and worthless. 

Using similar techniques, the researchers then examined 
attitudes toward psychological experts and treatment. They 
found that all types of professionals were highly regarded, 
particularly by less well educated people; but mental health 
professionals were held In less esteem than those who treat 
physical problems. Reactions to mental health institutions 


and treatment, including psychotherapy, were generally less 
favorable than attitudes toward physical treatment methods. 
Also, distinctions between the mental health subprof essions 
were poorly understood. 

Before describing Nunnally's media studies, it should he 
noted that they were carried out in the mid-1950 ' s and, no 
doubt, the situation today is changed. Through content analy- 
sis of television and radio broadcasts, national magazines, 
and daily newspapers, the researchers discovered a highly 
distorted view of mental health issues being propagated by 
commercial media. For example, presentations often suggested 
that a person with a psychological problem looks and acts in 
different ways than does a "normal" person. Especially in 
television dramas (which are more likely to be viewed than 
mental health educational programs), mentally ill persons were 
often portrayed with highly stylized and bizarre behavior, 
glassy eyes, uncontrollable laughter, and strange phobias and 
obsessions. The depicted causes of mental problems were fre- 
quently situational or organic: a single stressful incident, 
an old battle wound, physical privation such as hunger or thirst 
The treatment was likely to be assistance from a professional — 
a psychiatrist, physician, or nurse-or, just as commonly, the 
application of timely advice or a bit of homespun philosophy. 

The impact of these media presentations, however, did not 
appear to be critical. Public views of mental health matters 
found in Nunnally's other research were far less extreme than 
media depictions, reflecting the consumer's ability to withstand 


the Influence of unrealistic dramatic conventions. Furthermore, 
in the overall media, information concerning psychological 
issues was infrequent. The researchers found only 120 relevant 
items in Jj-9 newspapers, 16 in a radio station's weekly output, 
1? on one television channel watched for a week, and 49 items 
in 91 issues of national magazines. 

Effects of Mental Health Information; Nunnally's Findings 

After their investigations of public mental health views, 
Nunnally and his colleagues conducted a series of pioneering 
studies in the field of mental health communications. The 
second half of Nunnally's (I96I) report is an examination of 
the communication variables involved in attempts to expand 
popular knowledge and improve general attitudes regarding 
mental health issues. Its essential message was summarized 
as follows, 

Communicating mental health information may, on first 
thought, seem to be a relatively straight-forward 
task--merely presenting facts in a clear and inter- 
esting manner. Unfortunately, the Droblem is much 
more complicated than that, and there are many 
stumbling blocks in the communication process. For 
example, the attitudes that people have toward mental 
disorders and afflicted individuals make them resist- 
ant to certain kinds of new ideas and to some types 
of communications. Because the direct approach 
often fails to change people's attitudes and opin- 
ions in desired directions, new appeals and communica- 
tion strategies must be found. (p. 2) 

The following review of Nunnally's findings includes several 

focuses: (a) general acceptance of mental health information-- 

public interest, discrimination of true from false information, 

individual differences in receptiveness, effectiveness of types 

of information; (b) major variables in message transmission-- 
anxiety, solution provision, message certainty, and negation 
effects; (c) other variables related to mental health communi- 
cations; (d) permanence of message effects. 
Acceptance of Information 

In their studies of mental health views, Nunnally and his 
research team found popular knowledge of psychology sparce, 
unsystematically structured, and uncrystalized. Uncertain and 
eager to learn more, the public tends to be susceptible to any 
authoritatively presented mental health information. Despite 
their curiosity, however, people are likely to be frightened by 
such topics as mental disorder and resistant to unpleasant 
messages . 

On an interest questionnaire, 200 raters indicated as 
much willingness to receive information on mental health as on 
several other popular subjects, including physical health. 
Asked to rate interest in different aspects of mental health, 
respondents indicated more enthusiasm for information related 
to immediate personal issues; the more distant the topic from 
an individual's own concerns, the less interest it generated. 
Of particular interest was material related to the early stages 
of mental illness, causes and initial signs. 

A further study of public interest in mental health used 
written information sheets describing treatment methods. The 
descriptions were designed with varying combinations of three 
message variables: high- or low-anxiety arousal, personal or 

impersonal phrasing, and provision of solutions or no solution. 
Ranking the communications in order of preference, 288 partici- 
pants in the experiment showed least interest in personal, high- 
anxiety messages providing no solution and most interest in 
impersonal, low-anxiety messages including solutions. Recep- 
tivity to mental health messages, therefore, seems tied to the 
degree of threat produced. 

False information may he as readily accepted as true. An 
experiment which demonstrated this used four written accounts 
of treatments for catatonic schizophrenia, two plausible in 
the light of current evidence and two concocted from the imagi- 
nations of the researchers. Four groups of college students 
read these reports, presented as expert explanations, while 
control groups read messages unrelated to mental health. The 
readers of both true and false reports made similar ratings of 
their information on convincingness, and more than 75 percent 
of each group answered "Yes" when asked whether they thought 
the treatment described to them would work. Additionally, the 
four groups, compared with control groups, indicated more 
favorable attitudes on a Semantic Differential, both for the 
concept of "a person with catatonic schizophrenia" and for 
general mental health topics. Numially suggested that even 
false information can serve a useful purpose. 

Measuring the effects of types of information upon atti- 
tudes and knowledge, the researchers used four paragraphs 
designed to promote accurate understanding about four popular 
misconceptions: (a) that the mentally ill look and act different, 


(b) that willpower is a deterrent to mental illness, (c) that 
avoidance of morbid thoughts brings relief, and (d) that the 
mentally disturbed are hopeless. Each of four groups of high 
school students read one message, and a control group was 
exposed to no message. On a mental health information test, 
students usually scored high on the factor to which they had 
been educated but not on others. (An exception was that most 
students, including controls, were convinced that the mentally 
ill are not hopeless.) The attitudes of informed students 
differed in a generalized way from those of the control group, 
but changes were often in a negative direction. The researchers 
attributed the worsening of attitudes to the content of the 
messages not; having been controlled for such variables as 
arousal of anxiety. 

In the course of their studies, the researchers attended 
to individual differences in respondents. The general finding 
was that there were large differences among people's attitudes 
and knowledge prior to communications experiments, but subjects 
tended to change by the same amounts when exposed to similar 
mental health messages. Initial differences in information 
corresponded strongly to years of formal schooling and intelli- 
gence test scores. Initial mental health attitudes, however, 
were not significantly related to educational sophistication, 
age, sex, and other prominent dimensions of individual difference 
Major Variables in Message Transmission 

Having found that nonthreatening mental health messages 
are most acceptable to the public, Nunnally's group set out to 


determine how people's knowledge and attitudes are affected by 
several message variables: anxiety arousal, provision of solu- 
tion, message certainty, and negation effects. 

One study explored the influence of messages put in 
anxiety-arousing terms upon attitudes toward specific and 
general mental health concepts. For two topics, psychoanalysis 
and "shock therapy," written information was composed with com- 
binations of high- or low-anxiety phrasing and provision of a 
solution or no solution. Each of 392 high school students read 
one of the eight messages, then reacted on a Semantic Differ- 
ential to several concepts related to mental health. High- 
anxiety messages clearly produced more negative orientations 
toward all of the concepts. When a solution was provided, 
however, it promoted favorable attitudes in the high-anxiety 
condition. Because the researchers had surmised from pilot 
studies that mental health messages usually raise anxiety, they 
recommended inclusion of solutions whenever mental problems are 
brought up in public communications. 

Nunnally also reported on the effects of message cer- 
tainty, the degree to which a message is delivered as proven 
"fact" rather than tentative belief. Message certainty is 
highly relevant to mental health communications because solid 
information in the field is considerably lacking, new data and 
ideas are continually appearing, and thus messages do tend to 
be tentative. From a number of studies, two of which are 
described below, Nunnally drew three general conclusions: 


1. The more certainty with which mental health informa- 
tion is stated, the more favorable will be the attitudes toward 
concepts related to mental health. 

2. Destruction of information about mental health without 
supplying new information results in negative attitudes toward 
related concepts. 

3- Even if available information may turn out to be incor- 
rect, it is better to give such information to the public than 
to withhold it. 

Experimenting with message certainty, the research team 
designed written descriptions of two psychological treatment 
methods, each explained to be effective in both high- and low- 
certainty phrasing. Each of four classes of high school students 
read one of the four messages, and two other classes read con- 
trol messages irrelevant to mental health. On a Semantic 
Differential, students who had received high-certainty communi- 
cations demonstrated more favorable attitudes toward the 
treatment method described and toward general mental health 
concepts. Two weeks later, the investigators returned with new 
messages negating the information which had been supplied 
originally. When administration of the Semantic Differential 
was repeated, negating messages produced less favorable atti- 
tudes on specific and general mental health concepts for all 
groups, including controls; however, students who previously 
had read high- and low-certainty messages did not differ in 
amount of attitude change . 

Negation of information proved significant in further 
experimentation. Undergraduates read explanations of 


schizophrenia which contained high-certainty assurance of 
effective treatment immediately followed by a statement 
casting doubt on the validity of the information. Compared 
with control groups who received no mental health informa^ 
tion, the message recipients indicated generally unfavorabl 
attitudes toward mental health concepts on a Semantic 

Other Communic ations Variables 

To test the notion that contact with the mentally ill 
might improve attitudes toward mental health concepts, an 
experiment was conducted involving visitors to high school 
classrooms who made brief talks about mental illness. Each 
speaker presented herself in three ways, either beginning 
the talk by stating that she was a former mental patient 
or making this announcement at the end, or making no such 
statement. An additional experimental condition was that 
half of the talks were given in a personal way, enlisting 
active identification of the audience with the issues 
mentioned, while half were delivered impersonally, allowing 
the audience to feel remote from the events. 

Later, as a supposedly unrelated event, a researcher 
administered the Semantic Differential to assess attitudes 
toward mental health concepts and an information test in each 
class. A clear finding was that late revelation of mental 
Patient status affected attitudes far more favorably than 
lnitial disclos ™. Late disclosure also promoted slightly 
hetter attitudes than no disclosure. Information scores were 




unaffected by disclosure, but were somewhat lowered by the 
personal, and presumably more anxiety-producing, approach. 

In another study, the personal-impersonal variable was 
found to have no impact. Experimenters used two versions of 
a paragraph about mental illness. One employed an impersonal 
approach ("What is mental illness . , .?"); the other, a 
personal approach ( "Have you ever thought how it would be if 
you were mentally ill?"). High school students who read each 
paragraph did not differ in their attitudes expressed through 
the Semantic Differential. 

Presentation style may affect the power of a message to 
change people. Using an elaborate factor analysis process on 
stylistic variables found in 70 diverse messages, the researchers 
determined two stylistic features of probable significance in 
mental health communications, easy ve rsus difficult wording 
and negative versus positive tone. Messages judged to have 
average difficulty and neutral tone were presented in five 
forms: the original version arid variations combining easy- 
negative, easy-positive, difficult-negative, and difficult- 
positive composition styles. Groups of college students each 
read one message in one form and responded on a Semantic Dif- 
ferential to "the message you have just read" and one concept 
related to their respective messages. They also rated the 
extent to which they would like to read more about the topic 
of the message and took a comprehension, test on the material. 

Although the college students In the study are unlikely 
to represent the general population, attitudinal results were 

Interesting. Difficult negative messages induced more favor- 
able ratings. Difficult negative messages also led to greater 
preference for further reading. On the comprehension test, 
however, the students showed they understood less from the 
negative versions of messages. The significant finding of 
the study was that larger differences occurred due to the style 
of the message than due to the ideas and other characteristics 
contained in it. 

During the course of their research, Nunnally became 
cognizant of a number of problems in the terminology available 
to the general public for describing mental health phenomena. 
He identified four weaknesses in the language, which affect 
research as well as public communications: 

1. There is a shortage of terms. For the general public, 
there are no standard equivalents for such terms as "regression" 
and "catharsis." Thus, even though average people may be able 
to understand and discuss such matters, they are limited by 
having a inadequate psychological vocabulary. 

2. The language suggests misleading explanations. A 
valid system for psychological understanding is hindered by 
the loose and biased usage of some terms in common parlance. 
The word "intelligence" is inexactly used. Other terms sug- 
gest incorrect causes, manifestations, and social effects of 
mental cond Itions . 

3. The language is not well anchored semantically . 
Although most people use a word such as "neurotic," it is 
doubtful that they attach it to real-life behaviors. New 

terms could be tied to sound semantic referents, thus decreasing 
their possibility of misinterpretation. 

4. The terms hear strong negative connotations. Some 
terms such as the word "insane" seem permanently linked with 
negative attitudes. The public should be encouraged to abandon 
such strongly unfavorable symbols and adopt new ones connota- 
tively neutral. 

To illustrate the contention that labels are important 
to message communication, Nunnaily ' a group conducted an experi- 
ment among 440 high school students. Two paragraphs were 
designed describing troubled men. Each description had four 
versions, one introducing the individual as simply "a man," 
the others referring to him as "mentally ill," "emotionally 
disturbed," and "insane." Each student read one of the eight 
versions and reacted to the man on a Semantic Differential. 
Predictably, labels had a decided effect on ratings, but the 
effect was less in the case of the man whose description 
indicated less disturbance. The researchers drew two conclu- 
sions from the study: 

1. Labels are more influential determinants of attitudes 
when applied to relatively unfamiliar phenomena. 

2. Labels are more influential determinants when they 
are perceived as being realistically related to the phenomena 

Permanence of Message Effects 

When a communication appears to be producing the desired 
impact, the next consideration is the duration of its effects. 

The Nunnally project was composed mainly of short-range inves- 
tigations, usually the presentation of a very brief message 
followed immediately by outcome measures. The researchers 
chose to conduct multiple short-duration experiments, they 
said, for reasons of practicality and "because the early stages 
of mental health communications research required careful con- 
trol of variables and ongoing adjustment of experimental 
designs impossible in longitudinal studies. 

In order to investigate the permanence of information 
effects, the researchers performed a follow-up assessment of 
the change produced by high school psychology classes. Stu- 
dents from seven sections of a psychology course responded 
to information questionnaires and mental health attitude scales 
prior to the semester-long course, at the end of the semester, 
and again six months to one year later. Measured against 
themselves, the students gained in correct knowledge during 
the semester (they responded more like psychologists and 
psychiatrists), and they continued to gain in the following 
months. Findings were inconclusive, however, because a 
control group of art stxidents showed approximately the same 
amount of improvement over the semester's time. 

Attitudinal results were similar. "Both psychology and 
art students developed more favorable attitudes over the 
semester. On most significant concepts, change scores for 
the two groups were exactly the same. The researchers specu- 
lated that pretest sensitization accounted for the nonpsychology 
students' increases. Sheer educational maturity was ruled out 

as an explanation because correctness of information, but not 
attitudinal change, is believed to correlate with years of 

The researchers also conducted a shorter term controlled 
experiment on permanence of attitude change. High school 
students' favorable mental health attitudes induced by high- 
certainty messages were found to be undiminished after two and 
one half months. 

According to Munnally, one way to regard the duration of 
communication effects is to think of each small message as a 
"dose." Administration of successive doeses with known char- 
acteristics can produce powerful and enduring results. Short 
messages which are compounded to take advantage of the dif- 
ferential effects of relevant content variables are likely 
to promote more desirable changes than communication bombard- 
ments which are heavy and continual but uncontrolled. 

Methods of Preparing Clients for Counseling 

A recent and promising line of counseling research is the 
development of systematic procedures for preparing people to 
understand and use therapy more beneficially. In the last 
dozen years, reports have been published covering a wide range 
of therapy-orientation techniques. By far, most of these 
approaches have been aimed at people already identified as 
clients, but they have relevance for potential clients as well. 
Behavioral Techniques 

Behavioral techniques in several forms have been put to 
therapy use. Zarle and Willis (1975) used "induced affect 

training," a desensitization procedure, with college volunteers 
to reduce neurotic response to stress in a subsequent eight- 
hour marathon encounter group. Truax and colleagues (1965, 
1966, 1968) found evidence that "vicarious therapy pretraining, » 
exposure to tape recorded clients modeling high levels of group 
therapy behavior, raised the "ideal self concepts" of hospital- 
ized psychiatric patients and incarcerated boys, thus conceivably 
producing stronger motivation for therapy. 

Behavioral modeling has also been employed to teach clients 
verbal skills useful in counseling. Myrick (1969) designed a 
counseling orientation program for eighth graders, the main 
feature of which was a tape recording of a peer being directed 
to use self -referencing language. Youngsters exposed to the 
model, compared with others who received the program with no 
tape, made more self -references in a thirty-minute interview. 
Stone and Stebbins (1975) used procedures similar to Myrick 's 
in a study with college volunteers and reported similar results. 
Marlatt, Jacobson, Johnson, and Worries (1970) employed a live 
model who was variously reinforced by a counselor for making 
problem statements. Neutral reinforcement of the model, and 
positive encouragement to a lesser extent, induced more problem 
statements from volunteer clients than negative and discouraging 
response to the model. 

Whalen (1969) compared modeling and instruction as methods 
of increasing personal openness and concluded that a filmed 
model preceded by detailed instructions facilitated personal 
discussion in groups, while either the film or detailed 


instructions alone were no better than minimal instructions. 
Doster (1972) assessed the relative efficacy of three methods 
of eliciting desired client behavior. His results showed that 
detailed instruction was more effective in producing verbal 
self-expression than either a taped model client or pretherapy 
rehearsal through roleplay. 
Procedures Related to Client Expectancies 

Other approaches have focused on the client's initial 
anticipations for counseling. Greenberg (1969; Greenberg, 
Goldstein, & Perry, 1970) experimented with induced pretherapy 
expectancies by randomly telling clients that they would have 
therapists who were warm or cold, experienced or inexperienced, 
Both psychology student volunteers and hospitalized psychotics 
became more receptive to therapeutic influence when expecting 
to see warm, experienced counselors. Similarly, Savitsky, 
Zarle, ana Keedy (19?6) showed that undergraduate women were 
more self-disclosing when they were persuaded to expect an 
interviewer who was eager to be helpful and from a stressful 
family background than when anticipating someone with a happy 
past but unwilling to help. Other researchers (Imber, Pande , 
Frank, Hoehn-Saric, Stone, & Wargo , 1970) , however, attempted 
without success to manipulate perceptions of improvement by 
informing outpatients that, on the basis of "psychological 
tests," they would experience therapeutic change in either 
four weeks or four months. 

Heilbrun (1972) tested the effects of pretherapy briefing 
regarding therapist control. Briefing consisted of a booklet 


designed to make the client aware that counselors use varying 
levels of directiveness, any of which can he highly effective, 
and to encourage the client to he flexible in expectation of 
counselor control. The booklets were given to men and women, 
rather either high or low on counseling readiness (Hkllhood 
of remaining in therapy) , as they applied to a university 
counseling center. Compared with a control group of clients 
who received no booklets, only women of high counseling readi- 
ness were more satisfied with their first counseling interview, 
given preliminary briefing. However, briefed low-readiness 
men and women had less incidence of premature termination than 
their control counterparts. 

Krause (1968) tried early clarification of client expecta- 
tions as a means of enhancing motivation for therapy. At the 
point of telephone intake, agency workers tried to modify 
client anticipations which were unrealistic and supplement 
those which were sparce, using restatement of problem descrip- 
tions and probing for implicit or additional problems. The 
technique did not increase the appearance of clients for 
counseling; nor did it produce high motivation or satisfaction 
ratings among those who kept their appointments, but therapists 
observed clients who received clarification to be slightly 
more open, informed, and responsive than others. In a second 
study, Krause, Fitssimmons, and Wolf (I969) extended clarifica- 
tion procedures into the first 6 to 12 counseling sessions and 
found tentative evidence that active focusing on positive and 
negative therapy experiences can raise client motivation. 

Special Procedures for Orienting Q lients 

Research has demonstrated that systematic preparation of 
clients can. help them remain in therapy longer and participate 
in it more productively. Some procedures were not specifically 
designed for pretherapy use hut have possible application prior 
to counseling; for example, teaching clients internalization 
behavior (Pierce, Schauble, & Parkas, 1970) and "focusing" 
(Gendlin, 1969; Gendlin & Olson, 1970). One especially elabo- 
rate means of assisting clients during therapy, intervention 
through "structuring and stabilizing," has shown effectiveness 
with low-prognosis clients. This process, described by Warren 
and Rice (1972), consists of two types of extratherapy meetings 
with the client: (a) brief stabilizing sessions, in which a 
second therapist encourages the client to discuss any problems 
occurring with the primary therapist or with the therapy, and 
(b) structuring session, in which the client is generally 
informed about therapy procedures and roles and the nature of 
personality change and then taught, through practice with feed- 
back, to perceive experiences in terms of immediacy and internal 
focus . 

Warren and Rice found that stabilizing alone was highly 
successful in preventing therapy defection in the low-prognosis 
clients but of no particular advantage to therapy results. 
Clients who received both structuring and stabilizing, however, 
not only remained in therapy longer but also had high partici- 
pation levels and experienced considerable therapeutic gain. 
Systematic preparation of clients for group therapy has 
taken several forms: providing participants with written 


material on groups (Martin & Shewmaker, 19 62) » inviting a 
potential member to attend a tria.l meeting (Bach, 195*0 > or 
using a series of lectures or an instrumental program to expli- 
cate therapy and insight (Bettis, Malamud, & Malamud, 19^9; 
Malamud & Machover, 1965). 

Yalom, Houts, Newell, and Rand (1967) tested the impact 
of a 25-minute orientation lecture on groups of middle socio- 
economic level psychiatric outpatients. The informal lecture, 
which allowed for questions and comments, included a "brief 
history of group therapy, research evidence of its effective- 
ness, general goals, a rationale for understanding the group 
as a microcosm of interpersonal life, a warning that group 
therapy would sometimes be difficult, and advice to be honest 
and direct with other members. In addition, the participants 
were told, deceptively, that their groups were composed of 
members chosen for maximum compatibility and liking. Compared 
with control groups who attended only a 25-minute registration 
session prior to group therapy, the groups which had received 
orientation displayed significantly more here-and-now inter- 
personal interaction and indicated somewhat more faith in group 
therapy, but increased cohesiveness did not result from the 
suggestion of compatible group composition. 

A seminal development in the preparation of clients for 
psychotherapy was Orne's (Orne & Wender, 1968a, 1968b) "antici- 
patory socialization" approach. Orne conceptualized readiness 
for therapy as a special form of socialization. That is, to 
use psychotherapy, one must have knowledge about the process 


itself, "beliefs about its effectiveness, shared values regarding 

its importance, and particular role expectations-- just as it 
is necessary to have learned appropriate perceptions about 
one's culture in order to live successfully in it. 

As a means of explicit socialization for the client antici- 
pating therapy, Orne designed a pretherapy interview with three 
major purposes: (a) to provide some rational basis for the 
client to accept therapy as a means of help with problems, (b) 
to clarify the roles of client and therapist, and (c) to provide 
a general outline of the course of therapy, including its 

The first step in Orne • s interview is a. rapport-establishing 
period. While taking a. brief history, the therapist indicates 
sympathetic understanding for the client's problems and makes 
a few simple comments which would seem highly insightful to the 
client. The intent in being immediately helpful, reassuring, 
and supportive is to provide a basis for the acceptance of the 
therapist's subsequent statements. This step in the interview, 
according to Orne, takes a short time and fits into the model 
of the medical relationship already familiar to the client. 
Next, the therapist gives the client an explanation of 
psychotherapy. In Orne ' s thinking, "It matters little what 
rationale is given to help the patient understand psychotherapy. 
It is important, however, that some rationale be given" (p. 1207). 
The main points to be covered are that therapy is a learning 
process and that the goal is to create permanent change rather 
than immediate, transitory effects. To get these ideas across, 

the therapist may provide illustrations alluding to what the 
client has said earlier. 

Questions which arise from the discussion of the therapy 
process will undoubtedly lead to the third step, explicating 
the therapist's and client's roles. At this stage it is 
important to clarify the difference between a psychotherapist 
and a medical professional: psychotherapy is done not to the 
client but with the client. It should also be explained that 
the client's role is to be active, the therapist's job is to 
help but not to advise, the client will always make the deci- 
sions, and the client should expect to discuss issues honestly, 
even though they may be painful, private, or embarrassing. 

Before concluding the interview, it is particularly impor- 
tant to address those aspects of therapy which might terminate 
it permaturely during the early sessions. The client should 
be cautioned that it is common to feel hopeless or negativistic 
at times during therapy and that, although there may be occas- 
sions when it seems impossible to keep an appointment, it is 
unwise to interrupt therapy or to end it without mutual dis- 
cussion. The client, then, is primed to expect "ups and downs" 
and to bring dissatisfactions with therapy into the sessions. 
Ome's interview has been the basis for several studies. 
One group of researchers modified the procedure, calling it 
the "Role Induction Interview," and used it experimentally 
with 20 psychiatric clinic patients (Hoehn-Saric , Frank, Imber, 
Nash, Stone, & Battle, 1964, Nash, Hoehn-Saric, Battle, Stone, 
Imber, & Frank, 1965) . In an extensive analysis of subsequent 

therapy behavior and outcome, the clients who received role 
induction compared favorably with 20 other patients who had 
no preliminary interview. Major findings were significantly 
better therapy attendance, session participation patterns, and 
therapist relationship ratings, as well as higher therapist- 
rated global improvement, self -rated symptom reduction, and 
social effectiveness as rated in independent interviews. A 
further investigation into therapist factors revealed that 
role induction was especially helpful in making clients, 
particularly males, more attractive to their therapists. The 
researchers did not determine whether clients are best prepared 
by their own therapists or by others, but they did conclude 
that it is most effective to prepare a client specifically 
for the therapist who will be seen. 

Unlike Orne's original anticipatory socialization inter- 
view, the Role Induction Interview had conveyed to clients 
the expectancy that therapeutic improvement would occur within 
four months. To determine what part such a time-limited sug- 
gestion in Itself might play in therapy gain, another group 
of researchers set up an experiment with four pretherapy 
conditions: Orne's procedure alone, induced expectation of 
better functioning in four months alone, both procedures, and 
no procedure (Sloane, Cristol, Pepernik, & Staples, 1970). 
Psychiatric clinic clients who received anticipatory sociali- 
zation showed slightly but significantly more improvement after 
four months than clients who were given the time expectation, 
on measures of social, sexual, and work adjustment. There 

was no difference among groups in symptomatic change or therapy 
attendance, but clients who received the four -months suggestion 
were rated by therapists as less likeable than those who did 
not . 

Orne had proposed that other anticipatory socialization 
procedures-for example, motion picture films or group methods- 
might prove helpful. Following this suggestion Strupp and 
Bloxom (1973) developed a group version of the Role Induction 
Interview as well as a role induction film and found both to 
be highly successful with lower socioeconomic level clients. 
The film Turnln^^oint (black and white, 16 millimeter, 
32 minutes), depicting a troubled truck driver who reluctantly 
turns to a mental health center and receives help, was aimed 
at community people who were unlikely to seek or accept therapy. 
It was designed to serve the major purposes of anticipatory 
socialization outlined by Orne and, specifically, to encourage 
viewers to consider a number of concepts related to mental 
health: that talking about difficulties can be helpful; that 
personality change requires work one must do oneself; that some 
troubles are self-inflicted; that there are adaptive and mal- 
adaptive ways of expressing anger, hostility, resentment, and 
aggression, that: peers are potential allies and friends; that 
personality change takes time and no miracles should be expected; 
that medication provides no solutions to the problems of living; 
that life difficulties are common and can be dealt with by 
talking about them, and that there are no "cures" for life 
stress, only more adequate ways of handling it. 

Participants in the study were 122 clients of 12 community 
agencies, identified as needing psychological counseling in 
order to reach agency rehabilitation objectives, hut minimally 
motivated to use mental health services. Most had multiple 
problems of long standing. One third viewed the role-induction 
film; another third received a group presentation patterned 
after the Role Induction Interview; and another third, serving 
as controls, viewed a film on the subject of early marriage. 

There was consistent evidence from postinduction, in- 
therapy, and outcome measures that the two role-induction 
procedures facilitated a more favorable therapy experience. 
Turning Point was superior to the group presentation on several 
measures. Prior to therapy, for example, both role -induction 
groups were rated by therapists as more attractive, more 
strongly motivated, and more likely to improve than control 
clients. Both groups also rated themselves better along such 
dimensions as willingness to begin therapy, anticipation of 
satisfaction with the first session, estimated global improve- 
ment, and realistic expectations of improvement. Furthermore, 
those who were in greatest need of help, according to therapist 
ratings of severity of disturbance, tended to experience the 
most positive reaction to the role-Induction procedures. 
Providing Information t o Potential Help Seekers 

Research into large-scale provision of counseling informa- 
tion has been scarce. It has also been limited to the college 
campus. Findings, nevertheless, support the effectiveness of 
broad information dissemination and point to the relative worth 
of several methods. 

To evaluate the impact of general counseling center 
"brochures, Bigelow, Hendrix, and Jensen (1968) distributed 
brochures to a group of 599 first-year university students 
but not to a similar group of 865 housed in a separate dormi- 
tory. After six weeks, the informed students had made four 
times as many counseling appointments as the uninformed 
students; and informed clients used counseling proportionately 
more for emotional issues rather than educational and voca- 
tional problems. The contents of the brochure, however, were 
not reported. 

At another university, Gelso and MoKenzie (1973) did the 
first comparison of methods for delivering counseling informa- 
tion to potential clients. They devised written and oral 
presentations to promote student use of their counseling 
center and, specifically, to underscore the appropriateness 
of presenting personal problems for counseling. Students 
living on selected dormitory floors received brief talks which 
emphasized the appropriateness of presenting both "normal" and 
"severe" personal problems at the counseling center. The day 
after, these students received in their mailboxes "a rather 
typical three-page counseling center brochure" along with a 
letter from the center's director reinforcing the main points 
of the oral presentation. A second, comparable group of 
students received this written material but no oral presenta- 
tion. A control group was given no information. 

On Warma.n's ( I96I ) C ounsel irig^j2Ig£riI , i,g.t§j},es s Ch ecklist . 
the students who received both the talk and. the written 

information indicated personal adjustment to be appropriate 
for counseling discussion, more than either other group. On 
additional questionnaire items, this group was also more in 
favor of seeking help with, severe psychological problems and, 
although this item did not attain statistical significance, 
normal problems i further, they expressed more willingness to 
seek counseling for personal problems. 

During the next six weeks, counseling center records 
showed that more students from each information group appeared 
for counseling than did those from the control group. Students 
who had received only written information, however, presented 
fewer personal adjustment problems than those who received the 
combination oral and written information. 

Duckro, Beal, and Moebes (1976), in a third study, assessed 
the persuasiveness of a written communication with a highly 
personal tone. Their study involved a month-long campus media 
campaign which focused on the services of the counseling center 
and particularly on the appropriateness of taking personal and 
social problems to college counselors. A group of 240 student 
volunteers had been pretested en the Warman check list prior 
to the campaign. During the campaign, one-half of the volunteer 
group received letters similar in content to the media messages 
but more personal in tone. Posttested on the Warman instru- 
ment, the letter recipients were more in favor of discussing 
personal problems at the counseling center than were the 
other volunteers. 


Although little previous research has explored the dis- 
semination of information as a means of facilitating client 
self -referral, professional literature has pointed up the need 
for reaching potential users of counseling and demonstrated 
that communications can play an important part in shaping 
perceptions related to help seeking. It has been shown that 
the public is not well informed on mental health matters in 
general or about sources of psychological help. Nor is the 
public favorably inclined toward psychotherapy. However, there 
are indications that people are amenable to information which 
will fill the gaps in their knowledge and that their attitudes 
can be changed. Specially designed materials and techniques, 
many of which are primarily informational, have been success- 
fully employed in teaching psychological concepts, promoting 
positive attitudes regarding mental health issues, and pre- 
paring clients for therapy. On college campuses, beginning 
evidence has been found that presentations of information can 
influence students' use of counseling center services. Thus 
the foundation has been laid for the present investigation 
into the effects of information on potential clients' per- 
ceptions of counseling. 


This study assessed the effects of written and oral 
information upon perceptions of counseling. Groups of high 
school students were exposed differentially to four treatment 
conditions : 

1. Written information— a booklet describing counseling 

2. Oral information— a talk presented by a counselor 
3- Combination- -both the booklet and the talk 

4. Control—neither presentation 
The students then completed a questionnaire reflecting their 
expectancies of counseling and their willingness to use coun- 
seling services. It was predicted that students receiving 
information would demonstrate more positive counseling expect- 
ancies and willingness. 


A review of the limited research previous to this study 
has indicated that information can favorably influence orienta- 
tion toward counseling. The literature on counseling perceptions 
shows that, while most individuals regard counselors as helpful 
people, they are reluctant to seek their services. The public's 
views of counseling, however, are generally lacking in firmness 
and clarity. /Is Nunnally (l 9 6l) wrote, such loosely formulated 


ideas are subject of modification by communications posed in 
an authoritative but nonthreatening way. Therefore, it was 
predicted that the informational presentations used in this 
study would favorably influence high school students' coun- 
seling expectancies and their willingness to use counseling, 
as outlined in the following hypotheses: 

1. Students receiving the written presentation of 
counseling information (counseling booklet) will 
score significantly higher on six measures of 
counsel! ng expectancy than control students. 

2. Students receiving the oral presentation of 
counseling information (counselor talk) will 
score significantly higher on six measures of 
counseling expectancy than control students. 

3- Students receiving the combination form of 

counseling infomation (counseling booklet plus 
counselor talk) will score significantly higher 
on six measures of counseling expectancy than 
control students. 

4. Students receiving the written presentation of 
counseling information will score significantly 
higher on two measures of counseling willingness 
than control students. 

5- Students receiving the oral presentation of 

counseling information will score significantly 
higher on two measures of counseling willingness 
than control students. 

6. Students receiving the combination form of 

counseling information will score significantly 
higher on two measures of counseling willingness 
than control students. 

The study also explored the comparative effectiveness of 

the three forms of information and the main and interaction 

effects of the variables, sex, race, grade level, and school 




High school students were chosen as the experimental 
population because they are an easily accessible group who 
represent all segments of a community. High school youngsters, 
it appears from previous research, hold .ill-conceived and 
often unfavorable perceptions of counseling. They are similar 
to the general public in this regard. 

Participating in the study were 28 classes of high school 
students, seven sets of k matched classes, comprising a total 
of 645 ninth- through twelfth-grade youngsters. Selection and 
assignment to treatment groups proceeded by the following steps: 

1. Permission to conduct the study in the public schools 
of Alachua County, Florida, was gained through the Assistant 
Superintendent's Office of Administration, School Board of 
Alachua County. 

2. Administrators in each of the six county high schools 
were contacted for approval of the research proposal. Four 
schools agreed to host the study: one large comprehensive high 
school in the urban center of Gainesville and three schools in 
outlying rural communities. A fifth school could not accommo- 
date the research schedule but did permit the pilot study at 
an earlier date. The remaining school, whose administration 
opposed the use of classroom time for the research, was omitted 
from the study. 

3. In each of the four host schools, the opinion of a 
school counselor familiar with the master class schedule determined 

the selection of matched sets of four classes. Selecting 
counselors used the following guidelines: 

a. Select four classes which are approximately 
equivalent in student composition. 

b. Classes considered "typical" are desired, not 
those composed of advanced or exceptional stu- 
dents. Insofar as possible, choose four sections 
of a general course in which students are rou- 
tinely enrolled; e.g., required English or science. 

c. Check the four classes for approximate equiva- 
lence in sex, race, grade level, and age of 
students . 

Three schools contributed two sets of four matched classes, 

and the smallest school provided one set. 

k. The four classes in each set were randomly assigned 
one to each of the four treatment conditions. 

The resulting sample consisted of "typical" high school 
students, heterogeneous in sex, race, grade level, and age, 
and accessible in their regularly scheduled classes. Two sets 
of four matched classes were in one urban school, and five sets 
were in three rural schools. Within each set, the four classes 
were randomly assigned to the four treatment conditions. Thus, 
seven classes composed each experimental and control group. 


To assess the effects of counseling information, this 
study employed a questionnaire based closely on the work of 
previous researchers in the area of perceptions of counseling 
Entitled "Counseling Survey," the questionnaire has two parts 
Part I measures six differential expectancies of counseling, 

and Part II measures two types of counseling willingness (see 

Appendix A) . 

Part I: Counseling Expectancies 

Part I of the questionnaire consists of 37 statements 
which begin with either "If I went to a counselor, I would 
expect to . . ."or "If I went to a counselor, I would expect 
the counsellor to ..." The respondent is asked to rate each 
item on a 5-point scale from "not true" to "definitely true." 
The items represent expectancies of counseling along six 

1. Counselor Expertise (5 items; e.g., "I would 
expect the counselor to know a lot about people 
and their problems.") 

2. Outcome of Counseling (5 items; e.g., "I would 
expect to get the help I want.") 

3- Trust in Counseling (6 items; e.g., "I would 
expect to speak freely about my problems.") 

k. Counselor Genuineness (6 items; e.g., "I would 
expect the counselor to be a 'real' person, not 
just a person doing a job.") 

5. Counselor Accei)tance (7 items; e.g., '"I would 
expect the counselor to think I am worthwhile.") 

6. Counselor Understanding (8 items; e.g., "I would 
expect the counselor to know how I feel, at 
times, without my having to speak.") 

The 37 items were taken from Howard E. A. Tinsley's (1976) 

revised counseling expectancies questionnaire. Development of 

the Tinsley instrument was in three stages. Initially, Tinsley 

collected 88 statements related to counseling perception, a 

majority of which had been previously evaluated by Lazarus 

(1971), Truaz and Carkhuff (1967), and Volsky, Magoon, Norman, 

and Hoyt (I965). He arranged these items into several categories, 

administered them as a questionnaire to 109 undergraduate 
college students, and then calculated the reliability index 
of each item and the internal consistency of each category. 
As a result of this analysis, Tinsley produced an 82-item 
questionnaire with eight scales, six corresponding to the 
dimensions of counseling expectancy listed above and two others 
related to counseling procedures and counseling directiveness. 

Tinsley next conducted a study among 28? undergraduate 
psychology students, using the 82-item instrument. For seven 
scales, excluding the Counseling Procedures scale, he found 
internal consistency reliabilities ranging from .69 to .89 
and, applying a series of t-tests, determined the mean scale 
value for each to be significantly different from each other, 
except in the case of Trust and Acceptance. 

Finally, Tinsley performed an extensive item analysis, 
based on data obtained from 490 subjects, and produced a 
^3-itern version of the instrument, consisting of seven scales 
having the following Alpha coefficient reliabilities: Expert- 
ise (.87), Outcome {.76), Trust (.88), Genuiness (.90), 
Acceptance (.92), Understanding (.8?), Directiveness (.84). 

Part I of the questionnaire used in the present study is 
essentially Tinsley 's short form, except that the Directive- 
ness scale was omitted. To accommodate high-school-aged 
respondents, two minor deviations from Tinsley' s version were 
made. The original ?-point Likert-type scale was reduced to 
a 5-poirit scale. Also, in three items, vocabulary was 
simplified: "Experience a significant change" was modified. 

to "have a big change"; "Speak frankly regarding" was changed 
to "speak freely about"; "initiate" became "begin." 

Fry's (1968) readability formula, applied to Part I, 
found the items to be approximately at seventh-grade level of 
reading comprehensibility . 

The questionnaire was subjected to a test of stability, 
using the test-retest method. Participants in the reliability 
study were twenty-two members of a Young Life Christian Club, 
composed of adolescents attending two urban Gainesville high 
schools. Five boys and sixteen girls, ranging in age from Ik 
to 19 (mean age: 16.8), responded to ihe questionnaire on two 
occasions separated by a time interval of three weeks. Product- 
moment correlations calculated for each scale of the question- 
naire resulted in the following reliability coefficients for 
the six expectancy dimensions: Expertise (.79), Outcome (.8.5), 
Trust (.37), Genuineness (.75), Acceptance ( .k6) , Understanding 
P art II: Co unselin g Willingne ss 

Part II of the questionnaire, evaluating willingness to 
use counseling, lists ten topics which people often discuss 
in counseling. Five items are vocational and educational 
issues: school work and grades, looking ahead and planning 
your life, how you feel about teachers and classes, jobs now 
and in the future, and money matters. Five are personal and 
social concerns: personal worries, knowing and understanding 
yourself better, how you get along with your family, how you 
get along with others your age, and uncomfortable feelings 

that you have. The respondent is asked, "If you were concerned 
with these things, how willing would you he to talk each one 
over with a counselor?" For each item, the subject indicates 
willingness of a 5-point scale ranging from "not at all 
willing" to "very willing." 

This willingness measure, designed for the present study, 
was modeled after a list of nine problem topics developed and 
used by Strong, Hendel, and Bratton (1971) and again used by 
Gelso and Karl (1974) in studies of college student views of 
found less willingness to discuss personal and social problems 
with counselors than vocational and educational problems. 

Test-retest reliabilities for the willingness scales were 
determined by the same procedures described for the expectancies 
section of the questionnaire, using the same Young Life 
youngsters. The resulting reliability coefficients were 
.56 for Vocational-Educational Willingness (VE) and . 71 for 
Personal-Social Willingness (PS) . 

Pr ocedure s 

The research was carried out during a period of two and 
one -half weeks in the last term of the public -school year 
(April 25 -May 17. 1977) following a timetable arranged with 
the teachers of the participating classes in the four schools 
(see Appendix B) . 

Experimental activities for each set of four matched 
classes (each set representing the four treatment conditions) 
required two days' time. On the first day, classroom teachers 


distributed the counseling information booklet to two classes. 
On the second day, the researcher presented the counselor talk 
to two classes and gathered the questionnaire data in each of 
the four classes. Figure 1 details the two-day schedule for 
each four-class set. 

Treatment Condition First Day Second Day 

1. Written Information Booklet Questionnaire 

2. Oral Information Talk> Questionnaire 
3- Combination Booklet Talk, Questionnaire 
4 " c °ntroi Questionnaire 

Figure 1. Schedule followed for each set of four matched 
classes . 

Co unseling Information Presentations 

The counseling booklet and talk used in the study were 
designed to be brief, simple, economical, and easily replicable, 
representing rather traditional counseling Information presenta- 
tions. Their aim is not to "sell" counseling or to persuade 
people to use It but to help potential clients to feel more 
comfortable and knowledgeable about counseling services, their 
availability, and their use. Counseling was realistically 
presented as a form of assistance for the person desiring to 
explore and clarify personal issues. In view of the range of 
counseling situations which clients may encounter, informal 
regarding therapeutic techniques arid underlying theory Is 
nonspecific . 


Development of the information booklet and talk took into 
consideration the work of Orne and Mender (1968) and Strupp and 
Bloxom (1973) and the experience of counselors who have worked 
with youth. The researcher submitted a preliminary draft of 
the booklet to five school counselors and several other experi- 
enced counselors for feedback, then revised it. The manuscript 
of the counseling talk also underwent revision, based on the 
responses of the students in the pilot study. 

The booklet, four typewritten pages illustrated with 
line drawings, has a simple text and is entitled "Sometime You 
May Want to See a Counselor" (see Appendic C). 

The content of the booklet is in four parts: 

1. When to See a Counselor . The first section explains 
that a counselor can be consulted for a particular problem or 
simply to discuss living in general. It reflects the explora- 
tory nature of couseling and emphasizes that whatever is 
important to the client is worthwhile material for counseling. 
The purpose is to make the client feel welcome in counseling 
and to counter common misconceptions about the limitations of 
problem appropriateness. This part of the booklet is illustrated 
with examples of statements which might be made to counselors. 

2. Kinds of Counseling . The second part of the booklet 
describes three types of counseling; one-to-one counseling, 
group counseling, and family counseling. It goes on to explain 
that counseling focuses on both ideas and feelings and that 
counseling may include both quiet (e.g., talking) and active 
(e.g., role -playing) experiences. 


3- What Happens in Counseli ng. The next section gives 
the reader an outline of what generally occurs during the 
course of counseling, from the initial building of a relation- 
ship through the final good-bye, and it provides 12 "Do's and 
Don'ts" for using counseling effectively (e.g., "Don't expect 
your counselor to do all the talking, Your counselor will 
want to do a lot of listening."). These instructions encour- 
age the client to expect an open and honest interaction and to 
participate actively in the process. 

*•*•■ How to Get Counse ling. The final section discusses 
self -referral. It encourages the individual to "ask around and 
shop around" in choosing a counselor and suggests three ways to 
find a counselor: through one's school counselor; by consulting 
family, friends, teachers, and others; by telephoning. The 
telephone number of a local free information and referral 
service is provided. 

The booklet was distributed to designated classes on the 
first day of the two-day experimental schedule, as explained 
above, by their classroom teachers. Teachers gave the booklet 
the following brief introduction: Here is a booklet that you 
may find interesting. It is about personal counseiing--what 
happens in counseling and how to get counseling if you should 
want to try it. Teachers provided their students with approxi- 
mately 15 minutes of class time in which to read the material. 

The 15-mlnute counseling information talk covered the 
same ideas as the booklet, with additional information on 
who a counselor is and how a counselor is trained (see Appendix 

D) . It was presented to designated classes, on the second 
experimental day, by the researcher herself, who was intro- 
duced as a counselor from the community who had come to inform 
the students about counseling. Following the prepared talk, 
the speaker requested comments and questions from the students 
and conducted a class discussion for 15 to 20 minutes. 
Collection of Data 

In the classes which received the counselor talk, adminis- 
tration of the questionnaire immediately followed the discussion 
period. In other classes, it was the sole experimental activity 
of the second day. The researcher presented the questionnaire 
as "a way that you can let us know how you feel about coun- 
seling, " then explained the instructions and the use of the 
5 -point scale, and read the survey items aloud to the students. 
Students were also invited to make written comments at the end 
of the questionnaire form. 

P ilot Study 

As a preliminary trial of the experimental procedures and 
materials, a pilot study was conducted with 92 students in four 
sections of a biology course in an urban Gainesville high school, 
Student participants were heterogeneous in race, sex, and grade 
level, and ranged in age from 14 to 19, with a mean age of 15 . 
Each class section received one of the four treatment conditions 
(written, oral, combination, or control) and responded to the 
two-part questionnaire. One-way analysis of variance comparing 

group responses on each of the 8 questionnaire scales found no 

significant treatment differences. It was felt that a study 
involving a larger and more heterogeneous sample and more in- 
depth statistical analysis warranted completion. 

The experience with the pilot group led to three modifica- 
tions in methodology: 

1. A 7-point questionnaire scale had been used in the 
pilot study (as well as in the reliability tests and in Tinsley's 
original work with counseling expectancies). The scale was 
simplified, to 5 points .for easier comprehension by young 

2. The counselor talk, which had been 20 minutes in 
duration, did not sustain the pilot group's attention well. 
Consequently, the prepared talk was reduced to 15 minutes 
followed by a 1.5- or 20-minute discussion period. 

3- At the end of the questionnaire, a space was added 
for further written comments "by the respondents. 

A nal ysis 

Dependent variable scores were obtained from the question- 
naire data by summation of the item scores for each scale, as 
follows : 

Part Is Expectancies 

Expertise Score Items 1, 26-29 

Outcome Score Items 2-6 

Trust Score Items 7-12 

Genuineness Score Items 2 3-18 

Acceptance Score Items 19-25 

Understanding Score Items 36-37 


Part II: Willingness 

VE Score Items 1, 3, 5, 8, 10 

PS Score Items 2, k, 6, 7, 9 

For each of the eight dependent variables, a^-x^x2x2 
multiple regression factorial analysis of variance was performed 
to determine the main and interaction effects of treatment, 
grade level, sex, and race. Where significance was found 
involving treatment or grade level, Duncan's new multiple range 
comparison test was applied to locate sources of difference 
among means. An alpha level of .10 was accepted for signifi- 
cance in all tests. While this level allowed greater potential 
for false conclusion than more traditional levels of confidence, 
the criterion was realistic and practical for the exploratory 
purpose of the research. 

In addition, three other procedures were performed to 
explain the data: (a) for each of the eight dependent variables, 
a 2 x 2 factorial analysis to assess treatment differences by 
school, (h) post hoc examination of the demographic character- 
istics of the sample and each treatment group, and (c) cal- 
culation of sample norms for each questionnaire scale, in terms 
of relative scale values. 


The purpose of the research was to investigate the 
effectiveness of three forms of information- -written informa- 
tion, oral information, and the combination of written and 
oral information— on experimental participants' responses to 
measures of counseling expectancy and willingness. In addition, 
the study assessed the effects of grade level, sex, race, and 
school membership. 

The data resulting from the study are presented as 
follows: (a) statistical description of the sample, (b) anal- 
ysis of the experimental results, (c) summary of the experi- 
mental results, (d) analysis of school differences, (e) report 
of sample norms for each questionnaire scale, and (f) summary 
of the participants' subjective responses. 

Statisti cal Description of the Sample 

A post hoc analysis of the demographic characteristics 
of the experimental participants determined the composition 
of the sample by sex, race, grade level, school, and age. It 
should be noted that 25 students, or 3-9 percent of the sample, 
failed to provide all personal information requested by the 
questionnaire; therefore, cases are missing from the descriptive 


Table 1 shows sex and race, school, and grade level "break- 
downs for the four comparison groups. Of the 630 students 
reporting sex and race, 186 were male Caucasians, 105 were 
male ethnic minority group members, 217 were female Caucasians, 
and 122 were female ethnic minority group members. Minority 
students proved, with only two exceptions, to be Black Americans. 
Grade level was reported by 633 students. There were I83 
participants from the ninth grade, 199 from the tenth grade, 
178 from the eleventh grade, but only 73 from the twelfth grade. 
The disproportionately small number of twelfth-grade students 
was the result of school scheduling of mixed-graded classes. 
School representation was 181 students from School A (urban 
school) and 167, 199, and 98 students from Schools B, C, and 
D, respectively (rural schools). The lower number of students 
from School D reflects the participation of only one set of 
four classes in this smaller institution. 

The mean age of the participants was 15«'9« Mean ages 
for the comparison groups were as follows: Written informa- 
tion group, 15-9; Oral information group, 15-3; Combination 
information group, 15-9; Control group, 15-4. 

Analysis of Experimental Results 

For each of the eight dependent variables, a separate 
4x4x2x2 factorial analysis of variance (treatment by 
grade by sex by race) was performed, applying multiple regres- 
sion procedures to correct for unequal cell size. Where factor 
effects were found to be significant at the chosen .10 confidence 


Table 1 

Composition of Comparison Groups by Sex and Race, 


and School 











































Grade Level 

Grade 9 






Grade 10 






Grade 11 






Grade 12 






School Member;; 


School A 






School B 




' 1 



School C 






School D 







level, group means were assessed, and comparison tests employed 
as required, to locate sources of difference. 

The following is a report of the data analysis for the 
six expectancy variables- -Expertise , Outcome, Trust, Genuine- 
ness, Acceptance, and Understanding—and two willingness 
variables— Vocational-Educational (VE) and Personal-Social 
(PS). It should be noted that scores from subjects who did 
not complete all items of a questionnaire scale were omitted 
from the analysis of that scale. 

Ninety-one percent of the sample completed the Expertise 
scale of the questionnaire. The highest possible Expertise 
score was 25, and the total sample score mean was 19.8. 

For this dependent variable, the factorial analysis of 
variance indicated no significant main effects for treatment 
(F= 1.795; df=3j p>.10). A significant difference was found 
for the main effect of sex (F-2.925; df*lj p«,10). There was 
also ojie significant interaction, treatment with sex (F=1.968; 
df=e; p<.10). The Expertise score factorial analysis of 
variance is presented in Table 2. 

The absence of significant main effects for treatment 
provided no support for the experimental prediction that infor- 
mation would affect counseling expectancies. Treatment means 
are reported in Table 3, 

The significant effect of sex was further evaluated by- 
referring to mean scores for males and females. As Table 4 
shows, females' Expertise scores were higher. 

Table 2 
Expertise Score Factorial Analysis of Variance 

Source of Variation 





Main Effects 

























Two-way Interactions 








































1 . 346 















Table 3 
Expertise Score Means by Treatment 


Written 157 20.01 

Oral 155 19.52 

Combination l6l 18. 93 

Control 138 20.59 


Table k 
Expertise Score Means by Sex 


Males 2?5 19-3? 

Females 328 20.08 


Ninety-one percent of the sample completed the Outcome 
scale of the questionnaire. The highest possible Outcome 
score was 25, and the total sample score mean was 16. 5. 

For this dependent variable, the factorial analysis of 
variance indicated no significant main effects for treatment 
(F= 1.842; df=3; p > . 10 ) . Significance was found for the main 
effect of race (F=l4.308; df=lj p<.10). There were also two 
significant interactions, treatment by sex (F=4.252; df=3j 
p<.10) and grade by race (F=2.424j df=3s p<.10). The Out- 
come score factorial analysis of variance is presented in 
Table 5. 

The absence of significant main effects for treatment 
furnished no support for the experimental prediction that 
information would influence counseling expectancies. Treatment 
means are reported in Table 6. 

The significant effect of race was evaluated by referring 
to score means for Caucasians and minority students. As shown 
in Table 7, minority students had higher Outcome scores. 


Table 5 
Outcome Score Factorial Analysis of Variance 

Source of Variation SS df MS p 

Main Effects 561.95 8 70.24 4 329 

Treatment 89.67 3 29.89 1.842 

g r ade 80.58 3 26.86 1.655 

^ ex 27-^5 1 27.45 I.692 

Race 232.16 1 232.16 14.308* 

Two-way Interactions 56?. 82 22 25 81 l <$9l 

Treatment Grade 122.22 9 13*58 837 

Treatment Sex 206.99 3 69 00 4*252* 

Treatment Race 39.05 3 13-02 ' 802 

Grade Sex 91.26 3 30.^2 1.875 

Grade Race 118.01 3 39.32+ 2.424* 

Sex Race 3.39 1 3.39 0.209 

Explained 1309-56 30 43.65 2.690 

Residual 9037-76 557 16. 23 

Total 1034?.32 58? 17.63 

h P<.10 

Table 6 
Outcome Score Means by Treatment 










■ 39 









Table 7 

Outcome Score Means by Race 

N x 

Caucasian 392 t* q± 

Minority 20? 17 . 5^ 


Ninety-two percent of the sample completed the Trust scale 
of the questionnaire. The highest possible Trust score was 30, 
and the total sample score mean was 22-2. 

For this dependent variable, factorial analysis of variance 
revealed significant main effects for treatment (P=2.468j df=3; 
p<.10) and for sex (F= 10.412; df=3 s p<.10). There was one 
significant interaction, grade by sex (F=2.425j df*3j p<.!0). 
The Trust score factorial analysis of variance is presented in 
Table 8. 

Main effects of treatment were examined to locate sources 
of difference, using Duncan's new multiple range test; however, 
this procedure indicated no significant comparisons at the .10 
level, due to an apparent psychometric idiosyncrasy related to 
the partitioning of variance in multiple regression factorial 
analysis. A follow-up two-tailed t-test was performed, com- 
paring the highest and lowest means. This test uncovered a 
significant difference favoring the control group over the 
written information group (t=l, 6k5>, p«M0). This result did 
not support the experimental prediction that information would 

produce more positive counseling expectancies than the control 
condition. Treatment means are reported in Table 9. 

Table 8 
Trust Score Factorial Analysis of Variance 

Source of Variation 





Main Effects 














. 412 











Two-way Interactions 













12 5.14 















2 . 425* 



65 .46 























: "p <.10 

Table 9 
Trust Score Means by Treatment 


Written 158 22.45 

Oral 159 21.75 

Combination 161 21.73 

Control 134 22.69 

The significant main effect of sex was evaluated by refer- 
ring to score means for males and females. As Table 10 shows, 
females' Trust scores were higher. 

Table 10 
Trust Score Means by Sex 




279 21.30 

Females 325 22.96 


Ninety-three percent of the sample completed the Genuine- 
ness scale of the questionnaire. The highest possible Genuine- 
ness score was 30 , and the total sample score mean was 26.1. 

For this dependent variable, factorial analysis of vari- 
ance indicated no significant main effects for treatment (F= 
0.446; df=3; p>.10). Significant main effects were found for 
sex (F=21.?99{ df=l ; p<.10) and for race (F=5.182; df=l { p<.10) 
There was no significant interaction. The Genuineness score 
factorial analysis of variance is presented in Table 11. 

The absence of significant treatment effects provided no 
support for the experimental prediction that information would 
affect counseling expectancies. Treatment means are reported 
in Table 12. 

The significant effects of sex and race were evaluated by 
referring to group means. As Table 13 shows, females and 
Caucasians had higher Genuineness scores. 

Table 11 
Genuineness Score Factorial Analysis of Variance 

Source of Variation 





Main Effects 
























5. 182* 

Two-way Interactions 



12 . 54 









































37 • 85 









18 . 36 


Table 12 
Genuineness Score Means -bv Treatment 





26 . 4o 




Combinat ] on 






Table 13 
Genuineness Score Means by Sex and Race 

N X 

Male 2?9 2k. 97 

Female 333 27. 03 

Caucasian 395 26.41 

Minority 215 25 Ak 


Ninety -three percent of the sample completed the Acceptance 
scale of the questionnaire. The highest possible Acceptance 
score was 35, and the total sample score mean was 29.0. 

For this dependent variable, factorial analysis of vari- 
ance revealed significant main effects for treatment (F=2.874; 
df=3; p<.10) and for sex (F- 20. 055; df=lj p<.10). There was 
no significant interaction. The Acceptance score factorial 
analysis of variance is presented in Table Ik. 

Main effects of treatment were examined to determine sources 
of difference, using Duncan's multiple range test. As Table 15 
indicates, five pairwise comparisons were significant at the 
.10 level. No difference appeared between the scores of the 
control and the oral information groups; however, the written 
information group scored significantly higher than each other 
group, while the combination group scored significantly lower 
than other groups. This provides support for the experimental 
prediction that information would favorably influence counseling 
expectancies in the case of written information only. 


Table 14 
Acceptance Score Factorial Analysis of Variance 

Source of Variation 





Main Effects 










20 . 055* 

Two-way Interactions 
Treatment Grade 
Treatment Sex 
Treatment Race 
Grade Sex 
Grade Race 
Sex Race 












40 . 86 



6 . 39 




. 104 







1 . 847 









■p< .10 

Table 15 

Acceptance Score Means for Treatment Groups 
Duncan's Multiple Range Test Comparisons 

X (Comb.) = 28.5 

X^ (Control) = 28.7 
= 29.0 
X, (Written) -29.6 

X g (Oral) 










*P < . 10 

The significant main effect of sex was evaluated "by refer- 
ring to mean scores for males and females. As shown in Table 
16, females had higher Acceptance scores. 

Table 1.6 
Acceptance Score Means by Sex 





2?. 86 


Ninety percent of the sample completed the Understanding 
scale of the questionnaire. The highest possible Understanding 
score was ^0, and the total sample score mean was 2?.0, 

For this dependent variable, factorial analysis of vari- 
ance indicated no significant main effects for treatment (F= 
0.839; df=3; p>.l0). Significant main effects were found for 
grade (F=?.339i df=3i p<.10), for sex (F=3.291, df=l; p<.10), 
and for race (F= 1^.552; df=lj p^.10). There was no signifi- 
cant interaction. The Understanding score factorial analysis 
of variance in presented in Table 17, 

The absence of significant treatment effects gave no sup- 
port to the experimental prediction that information would 
affect counseling expectancies. Treatment means are reported 
in Table 18. 


Table 17 
Understanding Score Factorial Analysis of Variance 

Source of Variation 

lain Effects 

Two-way Interactioj 

Treatment Grade 

Treatment Sex 

Treatment Race 

Grade Sex 

Grade Race 

Sex Race 






1186. 72 





395. 57 




29 . 45 





















■p <.10 

Table 18 
Understanding Score Means by Treatment 

Writ L ten 









17. 5Q 


The significance of grade was investigated to locate 
sources of difference through the Duncan's multiple range test. 
As Table 19 indicates, all differences between means were found 
to be significant at the .10 level. Underclassmen had higher 
scores on the Understanding measure than upperclassmen. 

The significant effects of sex and race were evaluated by 
referring to group means. As shown in Table 20, females and 
minority students had higher Understanding scores. 

Table 19 

Understanding Score Means by Grade 
Duncan's Multiple Range Test Comparisons 

X 3 X 4 X 2 X l 

X^ (Grade 11) = 24.8 - ,8* 2.8* 4.0* 

X^ (Grade 12) = 25.6 - 2.0* 3.2* 

X 2 (Grade 10) = 27.6 _ 1>2 * 

X x (Grade 9) =28.8 

^p <.10 

Table 20 
Understanding Score Means by Sex and Race 


Male 269 26.57 

Female 323 27. 33 

Caucasian 387 25.97 

Minority 201 28.74 

Vocational-Educational Willingne ss (VFj 

Ninety -two percent of the sample completed the Vocational- 
Educational Willingness (VE) scale of the questionnaire. The 
highest possible VE score was 25, and the total sample score 
mean was 20.0. 

For this dependent variable, factorial analysis of vari- 
ance indicated to significant main, effects for treatment (P= 
1.379; df=3i p>.10). A significant difference was found for 
the main effect of race (F-6.259; df=l; p<.!0). The VE score 
factorial analysis of variance is presented in Table 21. 

Table 21 

Vocational-Educational Willingness Score (VE) 
Factorial Analysis of Variance 

Source of Variation SS df MS 


Main Effects 228.93 8 28.62 I.791 

Treatment 66.12 3 22.04 1.379 

Gr ade 5.66 3 1.89 .118 

Sex 41.20 1 41.20 2.579 

Race 100.00 1 100.00 6.259* 

Two-way Interactions 403.47 22 1.8. 34 1.148 

Treatment Grade 76.94 .9 8.55 0^535 

Treatment Sex 70.33 3 23.45 1.468 

Treatment Race 15-07 3 5.02 0.314 

44.62 3 14.87 0.931 

123.12 3 41.04 2.569* 

20.00 ! 20.00 1.252 

695.94 30 23.20 1.452 

8962.54 561 

Total 9658.48 59.1 16. 34 

*p <".10 





































The absence of significant treatment effects provided no 
support for the experimental prediction that information would 
influence counseling willingness. Treatment means are reported 
in Table 22. 

Table 22 
Vocational-Educational Willingness Score Means by Treatment 

N X 

Written 162 20.19 

Oral 154 19.16 

Combination 157 19 . 31 

Control l4o 20.03 

The significant effect of race was evaluated by refer- 
ring to group means. As Table 23 shows, minority students 
had higher VE scores. 

Table 23 
Vocational-Educational Willingness Score Means by Race 

N x 

Caucasian 392 19.H-6 

Minority 211 20.07 

Personal a nd Social Willingness (PS ) 

Ninety-two percent of the sample completed the Personal- 
Social Willingness (PS) scale of the questionnaire. The 

highest possible PS score was 25, and the total sample score 
mean was 1.7 . 3- 

For this dependent variable, the factorial analysis of 
variance revealed significant main effects for all factors* 
treatment ( F= 2.116; df= 3 ; p < . 10 ) ) grade ( F* 3 . 101 , if= 3 ; p < . 10 ) ; 
sex (F=3<198; df-1; p < . .10 ) ; and race (F=10.6l6, df=lj p<.10). 
There was also one significant interaction, sex by race (F= 
3.252; df=l, p^.10). The PS score factorial analysis of vari- 
ance is presented in Table 24 , 

T>oT"i la Oh 

i a D J. e c •+ 

Personal-Social Willingness Score (PS) 
Factorial Analysis of Variance 

Source of Variation SS df MS F 

Main Effects 

Two-way Interactions 


Treatment Sex 

Treatment Race 

Grade Sex 

Grade Race 

Sex Race 






45 . 5^ 


156. 66 


10 5.81 













46.0 7 

2 . 1.41 







*p< ,10 

Main effects of treatment were investigated to locate 
sources of difference using Duncan's multiple range test. Ac 


Table 25 indicates, five pairwise comparisons were significant 
at the .10 level. No difference was shown between the control 
and the combination information groups, while the oral informa- 
tion group scored significantly higher than each other group 
and the written information group scored significantly lower 
than other groups. This furnishes support for the experi- 
mental prediction that information would favorably influence 
counseling willingness in the case of oral information only. 

Table 25 

Personal-Social Willingnei 


Social Willingness Score Means for Treatment Groups 
Duncan's Multiple Range Test Comparisons 

X 1 (Written) = 16.8 - tl * >6 * 1<()# 

X^ (Control) = 16. 9 _ ^ 

X^ (Comb. ) = 17.4 _ ZjJ ,. 

X 2 (Oral) = 17.8 


*p < . 10 

Main effects of grade level were also examined for source 
of difference between means by the Duncan test. As Table 26 
shows, only the comparison between twelfth- and eleventh-grade 
means proved nonsignificant at the .10 level of confidence. 
Underclassmen again had higher scores than upperclassmen. 

The significant effects of sex and race were evaluated by 
referring to group means. As reported in Table 2?, females and 
minority students had higher PS scores. 


Table 26 

Personal-Social Willingness Score Means by Grade 
Duncan's Multiple Range Test Comparisons 

\ X 3 X 2 X l 

X^ (Grade 12 = 16.4 _ .5 
X (Grade 11) = 16. 9 

X 2 (Grade 10) = 17.I 

X 1 (Grade 9) =17.9 

. 7* 



1 . 0* 



>p < . 10 

Table 27 
Personal-Social Willingness Score Means by Sex and Race 






■ 63 















Summary of Experimental Results 

It was predicted that students who received three types 
of counseling information— written, oral, and combination of 

written and oral—would score significantly higher on measures 
of counseling expectancy and willingness, compared with con- 
trol students. The data, however, .furnished little support 
for the experimental hypotheses, The effects of the Informa- 
tion were inconsistent, and the experimental groups were often 
not significantly different from the control group. 

Irrespective of treatment, examination of results for the 
total sample (experimental and control groups pooled together) 
revealed significant differences in counseling expectancies 
and willingness related to sex, race, and, to a lesser extent, 
grade level. 
EJXegJig— o f Treatmen t on Expe c tan cies 

Hypo thesis 1 . Students receiving the written presen- 
tation of counseling information (counseling booklet) 
will score significantly higher on six measures of 
counseling expectancy than control students. 

Hypothesis 2. Students receiving the oral presen- 
tation of counseling information (counselor talk) 
will score significantly higher on six measures of 
counseling expectancy than control students. 

Hypothesis fl. Students receiving the combination 
form of counseling information (counseling booklet 
plus counselor talk) will score significantly 
higher on six measures of counseling expectancy 
than control students. 

A series of factorial analyses of variance, corrected 
for unequal cell size by multiple regression procedures, indi- 
cated no treatment main effects significant at the .10 level 
of confidence for four of the expectancy scales: Expertise, 
Outcome, Genuineness, and Understanding. Significant main 
effects for the Trust and Acceptance scales were evaluated 
for sources of difference, using Duncan's multiple range tech- 
nique. For Trust, the Duncan's procedure resulted in no 


significant comparisons among means. A follow-up t test com- 
paring the highest and lowest means found the control group 
to be slightly superior to the written information group and 
no different from the oral and combination groups. For the 
Acceptance variable, the Duncan's test showed the written 
information group scoring significantly higher than each 
other group. However, the combination group scored signifi- 
cantly lower than other groups. Altogether, the results from 
the six expectancy scales were inadequate to support the 
experimental hypotheses which predicted favorable differences 
for information groups. 
Effects of Treatment on Willingness 

Hypothes is k . Students receiving the written presen- 
tation of counseling information will score signifi- 
cantly higher on two measures of counseling willingness 
than control students. 

Hypothesis 5. Students receiving the oral presen- 
tation of counseling information will score signifi- 
cantly higher on measures of counseling willingness 
than control students. 

Hypo thesis 6 . Students receiving the combination 
form of counseling information will score signifi- 
cantly higher on two measures of counseling willingness 
than control students. 

Of the two willingness scales, PS produced significant 
treatment effects under factorial analysis, and VE did not. 
Comparison of PS treatment-group means by Duncan's procedure 
indicated that only the oral information group surpassed the 
control group --small support for the effectiveness of informa- 
tion upon counseling willingness. 
Effects of Grade Level 

Regardless of treatment, the total group of students 
showed significant grade-level differences in two analyses, 

for the Understanding expectancy scale and the PS willingness 
scale. In each case, ninth -grade students scored highest, and 
ninth- and tenth-grade students responded more favorably than 
eleventh- and twelfth-grade students. The pattern of under- 
classmen scoring higher than upperclassmen was also carried 
out for nonsignificant grade level effects. 
Effects of Sex 

Score means for females were consistently higher than for 
males in each of the eight analyses. In Outcome and VE, this 
difference did not reach statistical significance. Clearly, 
female students demonstrated more positive perceptions of 
counseling than males. 
Effe cts of Race 

Racial difference was a significant factor in five of 
the analyses. Caucasian students had higher scores on one 
expectancy scale, Genuineness. Ethnic minority students 
(essentially, Black students) scored higher on the two expect- 
ancy scales of Outcome and Understanding and on both VE and PS 
willingness scales, 
Interaction E ffects 

Several significant two-way Interactions were noted (6 
from a possible 48); however, these effects were not explored 
further because they did not appear systematically through 
the eight analyses. Third- and fourth-order Interactions were 
suppressed in the multiple regression procedure due to empty 
cells or a singular matrix. 

School Differences 

To determine whether school membership had any systematic 
effect on the data, a k x z, factorial analysis of variance 
(treatment by school) wa s performed fur each of the eight 
dependent variables. Interaction of treatment with school was 
found to be significant for only one questionnaire scale, 
Expertise (F=l.?27; df=9; p<.10). 

Main effects for school were found for three of the 
expectancy scales, Expertise (1*6. 277 1 dl*3l p<.10), Outcome 
(F=11.150; df=3; p<.10), and Understanding (p= 13.104, df=3$ 
p<.10). This showed that for these three variables, regard- 
less of treatment, school differences occurred across the 
comparison groups. In each case, School G had the highest 
mean, and school means fell in the same rank order: X >X > 
X A >X B . When the Duncan's multiple range comparison tech- 
nique was applied, all school mean differences proved signifi- 
cant at the .10 level for Outcome and Understanding, but for 
Expertise only School B was significantly different from the 
other three schools. 

No school effects were found for the two willingness 
scales . 

Sample Norms 

To determine the experimental participants' relative 
responses to the eight questionnaire measures, norms were cal- 
culated in terms of their scale value from one to five. 


Scale value = firoup mean for scale 
number- of scale items 

Tables 23 and 29 show "the resultant scale values of each expect- 
ancy and willingness scale for the total sample and by sex. 
All scale values exceeded the median of 2.5* 

Participants ' Sub jective Responses 

One-fifth of the 645 students in the study wrote additional 
comments at the end of the questionnaire. These subjective 
responses, along with a discussion of their content, are 
recorded in Appendix E. The following is a summary of the 
main ideas arising from the students' remarks: 

1. The students expressed as many negative as positive 
perceptions of counseling. 

2. They often shared personal reasons for their views 
and alluded to past experiences with counselors. 

3. Their comments focused on counseling in the schools 
more than counseling as a general type of service. 

4. They emphasized personal characteristics of counselors 
and interpersonal aspects of counseling. 

5. Only a few students remarked on the experimental 
materials and procedures. 



























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This study 'began with the assumption that there are 
numbers of people who could benefit from counseling services 
but are disinclined to seek psychological help. Since orien- 
tation toward help seeking Is to a large extent a function 
of an Individual's beliefs and attitudes, it was asserted 
that information which leads to favorable perceptions about 
counseling should prove an effective tool in the delivery of 
mental health services. The use of information to reach 
potential clients, however, had heretofore been the subject 
of little research. 

To investigate the efficacy of counseling information, 
two brief informational presentations, one written and one oral, 
were designed and tested on a large heterogeneous group of high 
school students. The purpose was to determine whether these 
communications would positively influence perceptions of 
counseling. Specifically, the study posed six directional 
hypotheses predicting that students receiving the oral informa- 
tion, the written information, or a combination of the two 
would exceed a control group in favorable responses to measures 
of counseling expectancies and willingness to use counseling. 

Participating In the study were 28 classes of ninth- 
through twelfth-grade students from four schools in Alachua 

10 1 


County, Florida. Seven sets of four classes, designated "by 
school counselors as "being approximately equivalent, were 
exposed differentially to four treatment conditions. One 
class in each set read a four-page booklet discussing coun- 
seling; another class listened to a talk given by a guest 
speaker who was a counselor; a third class received both the 
booklet and the talk; and the fourth class was given no informa- 
tion and served as a control group. All participants were then 
posttested using a two-part questionnaire which asked them to 
rate their agreement with 37 positive counseling expectancies 
and their willingness to talk with a counselor regarding 10 
topics , 

Data were collected from 6k5 students. Data consisted of 
scores on eight criterion variables: six types of counseling 
expectancy— Expertise, Outcome, Trust, Genuiness, Acceptance, 
and Understanding—and two types of counseling willingness, 
willingness to discuss vocational and educational issues with 
a counselor (VE) and willingness to discuss personal and 
social issues (PS) . 

For each of the eight dependent variables, a i +x^x2x2 
multiple regression factorial analysis of variance was performed 
to determine the effects of four independent variables: treat- 
ment and students' grade level, sex, and race. When factor 
effects were found to be significant at the chosen .10 con- 
fidence level, reference was made to group means and, when 
appropriate, Duncan's new multiple range comparison technique 
was applied to assess differences. 

The results furnished little support for the experimental 
hypotheses., Effects of treatment conditions were inconsistent 
and often not statistically significant. Treatment main 
effects appeared for only two expectancy variables: for Trust, 
the control group was superior; while for Acceptance, the 
written information group scored significantly higher than 
other groups, hut the combination information group scored 
lowest of all groups. Treatment was also a significant factor 
for the PS willingness variable, but only the oral Information 
group surpassed the control group. 

Findings from the analyses of variance were more defini- 
tive for the three other Independent variables: grade level, 
sex, and race. Grade level effects showed underclassmen 
responding more favorably than upperclassmen on two measures, 
the Understanding expectancy scale and the PS willingness 
scale. Sex differences revealed females consistently demon- 
strating more positive perceptions of counseling than males; 
higher scores for females failed to reach significance in 
only two analyses (Outcome and VE). Racial difference was a 
significant factor on five measures. Caucasian students 
scored significantly higher on the Genuineness scale while Black 
students scored significantly higher on Outcome, Understanding, 
VE, and PS . 

The factorial analyses of variance also indicated that 
6 from a possible k-8 two-way Interactions were significant: 
however, these did not appear in any systematic pattern through 
the eight analyses. 


Three further statistical procedures were used to examine 
the data. A post hoc breakdown of demographic characteristics 
determined the composition of the sample and of each treatment 
group by sex, race, school, grade, and age. For each scale of 
the questionnaire, sample norms were calculated, and all were 
found to exceed the median scale value of 2.5. Also, effects 
of schools were assessed, showing a significant pattern of 
school differences for three dependent variables. Additionally, 
the written comments made by one -fifth of the participants were 
recorded and reviewed. 


This research failed to provide evidence that information 
can positively affect perceptions of counseling. Although a 
number of the study's participants indicated by their remarks 
to the researcher and by their written comments that the infor- 
mational presentations used in the investigation were worth- 
while, the responses of those who received the experimental 
communications showed no appreciable differences from those of 
control students on eight measures of counseling expectancy 
and willingness. 

What appears to have been gained is a confirmation of 
Nunnally's observation that delivery of mental health Informa- 
tion is not the relatively straightforward task it seems: 
"Unfortunately, the problem is much more complicated . . . and 
there are many stumbling blocks in the communication process" 


(196.1, p. 2). Also, the study has furnished some insight into 
what is not effective. 

Examination of the data suggests three probable flaws in 
the experimental presentations. They were too brief, too 
general, and too uninvolving. Inasmuch as the messages were 
designed to represent "typical" counseling information communi- 
cations, these weaknesses undoubtedly are present in similar 
written and oral presentations currently being provided by 
counselors to potential clients. 

The brevity of the messages can be seen as a detriment 
when considered in the light of the questionnaire respondents' 
subjective comments. From these written comments it was clear 
that the youngsters' perceptions were the cumulative result of 
impressions and experiences gathered over the course of years. 
Lasting less than an hour, the experimental presentations may 
have reinforced notions already held, but they did not alter 

The general nature of the presentations can be criticized 
on two counts. First, the messages were designed for "typical" 
high school students and perhaps were not adequately sensitive 
to individual differences among recipients. Although statis- 
tical analysis showed that the variables of sex, race, and 
grade level did not substantially interact with treatment, 
other personal factors may have come into play. One such 
factor is initial attitude. Judging from the youngsters' 
written comments, some students were quite amenable to coun- 
seling before receiving presentations and others had an 

extremely negative predisposition. It is possible that students 
of these two types were unaffected by the information for dif- 
ferent reasons— the former group, because they already agreed 
with the presentations and the latter, because Information 
designed for '•typical" students was not specialized enough to 
reach through their particular resistance. Previous experi- 
ence with counselors, apparently a factor related to Initial 
attitudes, is another possibly significant source of individual 
difference. Also, while psychological "need" is not thought 
to be the major motivation in help seeking, this factor might 
well be important in acceptance of information about helping 
services. The "shotgun" approach of this study contrasts 
with the more focused work of Strupp and Bloxom (1973) who 
successfully reached a more homogeneous group (largely uninformed 
clients of rehabilitation agencies who wore about to enter 
therapy) with information designed especially to be relevant 
to their way of life. 

Second, in attempting to provide a comprehensive under- 
standing of counseling, the presentations may have had less 
impact than if they had been limited to one or two specific 
points. Previous researchers have obtained successful results 
by disseminating single-purpose communications and then measuring 
message persuasiveness along particular corresponding dimensions 
(cf. Duckro, Seal, & Moebes, 19?6j Gelso & McKenzie, 1972; 
Nunnally, 1961) , 

That the presentations did not require active involvement 
on the part of the youngsters may have attenuated their effect. 

Allowing information recipients to remain passive might he less 
threatening hut it could also buffer the capacity of messages 
to achieve their purpose. A few youngsters wrote that the 
oral presentations were long and boring. Further, it was 
observed that a majority did not speak up during the follow-up 
discussions despite efforts by the researcher to include more 
students. Since direct experience is apparently the strongest 
determinant of counseling perceptions, better results might 
have been attained if experiential learning activities had 
been combined with verbal information. 

The more definitive findings of the study are unrelated 
to the experimental hypotheses; they concern differences in 
perceptions of counseling on the basis of sex, race, and grade 
level, irrespective of information received. The consistently 
higher scores of girls over boys on expectancy and willingness 
measures is noteworthy as sex differences have not much been 
foe-used on in help-seeking research. Also of import is the 
fact that Black students indicate more amenability to coun- 
seling than Caucasian students--a result which contradicts 
the popular but not well-substantiated notion that Blacks, 
because they are less well ensconced in the mainstream of 
society, are less likely to make use of the culturally desig- 
nated resource for psychological help. 

That ninth and tenth graders showed somewhat more favor- 
able perceptions of counseling than eleventh and twelfth 
graders is reminiscent of Tinsley and Harris' (19?6) finding 
that freshman and sophomore college students had higher 

counseling expectancies than upperclaesmen. Their inability 
to interpret this finding, Tinsley and Harris said, served 
"to underline the relative paucity of research in the area" 
(p. 176). 

An encouraging outcome of the study was that high school 
students, on the average, made ratings that were at the positive 
ends of the scales. Sample norms were above the median on all 
expectancy and willingness measures. Conceivably, this could 
be indicative of the "acquiescence response set" in which 
respondents tend to endorse positive statements (Isaac & 
Michael, 1972). However, youngsters submitting written com- 
ments frequently showed no hesitation in giving negative 
responses about counseling when they felt them. Thus it may 
be assumed that the students were responding honestly and as 

Comparison of differentia], norms for the expectancy 

scales reveals a pattern similar to that found by Tinsley and 

Harris (1 9 ?6) in their study with college students. In both 

studies, students demonstrated more faith in counselors' 

genuineness, acceptance, expertise, and trustworthiness than 

in counseling understanding and outcome. 

Comparison of willingness rmr«m« r-i-,- ,., , .;. +1 

.ixixagiiejs norms showed the youngsters 

agreeing with high school and college students in numerous 
other studies who were more inclined to discuss vocational 
and educational topics in counseling than personal and social 
topics (cf., Dunlop, 296. 5; Gibson, 1 9 62 ; Grant, 1952; Kennedy 
& Fredricbson, 1969, King * Matteeon. 1959, Resnick & Gelso, 


1971i Warraan, 1961) . This preference is doubtless related to 
the idea reflected in the youngsters' written comments that, 
when students consider counseling, they think of services 
offered in the schools rather than of counseling in general. 


The foregoing discussion points out several possible 
weaknesses in the counseling informational presentations used 
in this study. The following research limitations need also 
to be taken into account: 

1. The study did not investigate the degree to which the 
responses to the questionnaire relate to actual help-seeking 
behavior or assess longer term effects which might have resulted 
from the informational presentations. 

2. No attempt was made to evaluate the separate components 
of the informational presentations. It is possible that some 
elements of the communications were successful while others 
were detrimental. The extent to which cancellation of effects 
occurred is unknown. 

3- The selection of matched sets of four classes and sub- 
sequent random assignment did not fully insure treatment group 
equivalence. Post hoc statistical assessments of the treatment 
groups showed that school counselors' judgments of class 
similarities were essentially sound with respect to sex, age, 
grade level, and race; however, other variables were left 
uncontrolled . 

4. Restriction of the study to "typical" classes precludes 
generalizability of the findings to exceptional youth. Further- 
more, when the researcher visited the classes, she did encounter 
some atypical students. For example , several youngsters were 
unable to read and write— a factor winch surely had bearing 
on the efficacy of the written information. 

5- There were a few students absent from class on the 
day booklets were distributed but present during data collec- 
tion. Usually teachers unobtrusively eliminated these students 
from the study, but some of them turned in questionnaires. 
6. In its present form, the counseling questionnaire 
had never before been used in research, and. its accuracy of 
measurement should be considered in that light. Perhaps the 
instrument was inadequately sensitive to detect subtle changes 
in perceptions. 

The low test-retest reliability coefficients obtained for 
the Trust and Acceptance scales (.37 and Jv? , respectively) 
particularly cast doubts on their precision. 

7. Because the researcher herself delivered the counseling 
talks and administered the questionnaire, experimenter effects 
may have occurred. As she was a representative of the coun- 
seling profession, the researcher's presence alone couid have 
been influential, as well as her appearance, demeanor, inter- 
active style, and the fact of her being a white female. 

8. Variations in teachers arid classroom situations were 
likely to have affected student responses. Teachers did not 
always follow the standardized procedures for distributing 

counseling information booklets. (An extreme examples One 
teacher forgot to make the distribution to a class; then later 
in the day she went through the school finding the students 
and giving them booklets:) Teachers also had differing atti- 
tudes toward providing class time for research. Additionally, 
students' feelings toward the teacher and particular class 
may have been important variables. 

9- Finally, despite efforts to standardize the procedures, 
during the class visits there were a number of the unforeseen 
and extraneous occurrences which seem inherent to high schools. 
These included loud noises from adjacent rooms, unscheduled 
public-address announcements, a class cut short because of 
student activities, and a class moved in order for its room 
to be painted. 

R e c omm c no a t i o ns 

Further investigation into the area of counseling infor- 
mation should take into consideration the following; 

1. New strategies for informing potential clients about 
mental health services need to be developed and evaluated. A 
promising direction for reaching school youth is the use of 
experiential learning activities involving highly participa- 
tory interaction with counselors— perhaps by providing one- 
session "sample counseling groups" far large numbers of students. 
Peer counseling programs and growth-oriented classes might be 
investigated for their value in facilitating help seeking. 

The relative usefulness of different forms of media, particu- 
larly "cool" (involving) media such as film and live drama, 
warrants research, as does the effectiveness of small group 
and individual approaches. 

2. Also deserving of further research are individual dif- 
ferences among potential clients which may affect receptiveness 
to information. Some recipient variables worthy of study are 
initial perception:: of counseling, previous experience with 
professional helpers, family and peer group attitudes, "need- 
ier psychological services, socioeconomic standing, general 
intelligence and verha.1 ability, a, 1 responsiveness to various 
type of communications, 

3. Other information studies might employ different out- 
come criteria. In classroom studies, for example, willingness 
could be assessed behaviorally by offering a follow-up "sample 
counseling session" and counting the number of students who 
sign up to participate. Development of instruments which more 
precisely measure counseling perceptions would also facilitate 
information research . 

fc. Extended use of subjective indicators would he help- 
ful in devising and evaluating informational approaches. In 
the present study, students' written comments were valuable 
in interpreting questionnaire data. Systematic use of inter- 
views or surveys with open-ended questions is suggested. 

5. Other studies might investigate longer term effects 
of information or the cumulative effect of a series of presents- 
tions . 


6. Studies involving different populations and settings 
should "be conducted. In particular, reaching younger children 
needs investigation. With adolescents, approaches outside the 
schools might be studied. 

7. The differential effectiveness of separate components 
of informational presentations might be researched using the 
methods employed by Nunnally (I96I) to study message variables. 

8. In view of the apparent impact of school counselors 
on students' perceptions of professional help, research should 
be continued into the image of the school counselor and how 

it may be improved. 

Conclusion s 

In this study of high school youth, written and oral 
presentations of information demonstrated no capacity to 
significantly influence expectations of counseling or willing- 
ness to use counseling. The broad implication of this result 
is that mental health professionals who attempt to inform their 
constituencies of their services cannot assume that their mes- 
sages are effective. In the absence of other research, except 
studies with college students, strategies for reaching potential 
help seekers remain poorly understood. 

Several secondary findings of the study are worthy of 
note. Whether they received counseling information or not, 
female students consistently responded more positively on 
measures of counseling expectancies and willingness. Whether 

they received information or not, Black students indicated 
more willingness to discuss both vocational and educational 
and personal and social topics with counselors; they also 
showed higher expectancies than Caucasians on two measures. 
There was additionally some indication that underclassmen had 
more favorable perceptions of counseling than upperclassmen. 

Written comments provided by some of the students revealed 
that a number of youngsters have strong feelings about coun- 
seling, both negative and positive, and that their perceptions 
of counseling are largely the result of personal experience, 
usually with school counselors. 

It is concluded that individual differences and the impact 
of experience may attenuate the effects of small doses of 
information which are general in nature. Additional research 
is required to clarify the means by which potential counseling 
clients may be readied. 


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P art I 

Instructions; Suppose that at some time you go to a counselor, 
What do you think it would "be like? Mark each 
of these statements as to how true you think 
it is. 

Items (to he rated on a 5-point scale having the following 
position labels: not true, somewhat true, fairly true, quite 
true, definitely true) s 

If I went to a counselor, I would expect to . . . 

1. See an experienced counselor 

2. Discover the cause of my problems 

3. Get an understanding of my strengths 
k>. Have a big change in my life 

5. See myself differently after counseling 

6. Get the help I want 

7. Speak freely about my problems 

8. Openly express my feelings about myself and my 

9- Openly express my feelings about my counselor 

10. Begin discussion of my concerns 

11. Cooperate with the counselor in developing a 
plan of action 

♦Items in Part I were adapted from Tinsley's revised 
Expectations Questionnaire used by permission of Dr. Howard E 
A. Tinsley, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, in 
personal communication dated November 22, 1976. 



12. Express openly any disagreement I have with the 

If I went to a counselor, I would expect the counselor to , 

13. Be a sincere person 

Ik, Be a "real" person, not just a person doing a job 

15 « Be honest with me 

16. Tell me what he (she) is honestly thinking 

l?. Be "the person that he (she) really is" with me 

18. Let me know what he (she) is honestly feeling 

19. Think I am worthwhile 

20. Take a special interest in me and my problems 

21. Accept me 

22. Be friendly and warm towards me 

23- Wlake me feel free to say whatever I think 

24, Respect me as a person 

25- Be genuinely interested in me as a person 

26. Know how to help me 

17° Know a lot about people and their problems 


28. Be experienced in helping people with many kinds 
of personal problems 

29. Help me solve my problems 

30. Know how I feel even when I cannot say quite what 
I mean 

31. Help me to know how I am feeling by putting my 
feelings into words for me 

32. Lead me into talking about some of my deepest 

33„ Help me learn a lot about myself 

y\ . Know how I feel, at times, without my having to 


35- Understand me so well that he (she) knows what I 
am feeling, even when I am hiding my feelings 

36, Help me know myself better "by pointing to feelings 
within me that I had not "been aware of 

37 . Understand exactly how I feel 

Part II 

Instructions s Here is a list of things that people often 

discuss with counselors. If you were con- 
cerned with these things , how willing would 
you be to talk each one over with a counselor? 

Items (to be rated on a 5-point scale having the following 
position labels: not at all willing, somewhat willing, 50-50 
chance, quite willing, very willing) ! 

1. School work and grades 

2. Personal worries 

3. Looking ahead and planning your life 

k. Knowing and understanding yourself better 

5. How you feel about teachers and classes 

6. How you get along with your family 

7. How you get along with others your age 

8. Jobs now and in the future 

9. Uncomfortable feelings that you have 
10. Money matters 


Experimental Schedule 

Date* /Setting 



April 26, 1977 
School A 

May 3 

School B 

lay k 
School B 

May 10 

School A 

May 11 

School C 

1 Adv. Grammar 
& Composition 

2 Poetry 

3 Poetry 
5 Poetry 

1 English III 

2 English III 

3 English II 
k English II 

5 English III 

6 English II 

3 English IV 

4 English III 

1 Biology 

2 Biology 

3 Biology 
k- Biology 

2 Human Biology 
5 Science 



















May 12 
School C 

2 Human Biology 

3 Biology 

k Human Biology 

5a Science 

51) Science 
6 Biology 







May 1? 
School D 

1 English I 

2 English I 

5 English I 

6 English I 


*The date given is the day of counselor talks and data 
collection (the second experimental day). Counseling "booklets 
were distributed one school day before to Written and Com- 
bination gro up s . 



bOMLTiME. You May Want To 


...bat Etiyba you're not sura what counselins Is all about. 

This booklet is to help you know more about counsel lti9 

so you can decide whether It 1 3 something V°u. would like to try. 

Whan la the riftht/ Vhat are the 
time to mt a { different Unds 

W H§2L_ TO 9SS _A . CO0H3ELOR 

If you have a PARTICULAR 1-ROBLEH or question or decision to 
"mike ana want ocr.e help setting it clear or sorting through 
tha anowers 



,if you have NO PARTICULAR PROBLEM but would like to know more 
'about yourself, explore how you are living your life, talk 

about your future, or dlt>cus3 a lot of little questions that 

are on your mind 

.You ro&y simply Kant to get to know a. counselor in caae you 
need him or her Borne time 

I want to\» 

uncle r stand my sal f 
bo t tor i- 

— „_ . — _ 

J My parents are V 

^getting a divorce] 

Wind I'm worried^ 

■ -y- 

I'm havina trouble^ 
with school 

'm not sure 
ra ray 1 i fo ll 
Headed f* 

— Y — 

/l wonder about 
(a lot of things 

/ I van t to gee 
("what counseling 

"lis like 


In other words, 

you can sou a counselor 
whenever you're ready. 
A counselor is there to deal 
YOU. big or small. And you don't 
have to have a certain problem -- 
You may just want to tall; about 

"things" in aenaral. 




There are three main kinds of counseling. 

isPv 7C% 

Several people meeting 
with a counselor. Often 
groups have a spaolal 
purpose ... Ilka dealing 
with career plans 

Just you and the 

counselor, meeting 

The counselor meets 
with your whole family 
(or part of it) to ' 
work on family issues 

Thera are also several different ways that counseling can operate. 

(And most counselors use all of them from time to time,) 

Counseling can deal with IDEAS. You deal with 
what's happening ... who It's happening with... 
and what can be dona about it. You use facts, 
thinking, planning, and decision making, Maybe 
you will decide to fcaka a test and then discuss 
what the test results mean. 

Counseling can deal with FEELINGS. Anger.,. 
Warm feel ) nas. . . J*oy . . . Sadness. . .Happiness, 
the counselor sees feelings as "signs" that 
tell you what to do. And the counselor can 
help you read the signs. 

What arc some th 
that nake you fe 
, and good? 

Counseling can be QUf?:T. Somctlwes It Is mostly 
sitting and talking. Putting Ideas and feelings 
into words (talking then over) Is a way of 
getting them clearer and exploring then. 

Counseling can be ACTIVE. Sometimes you want 
to do more than talk." Counselors car. use 
activities and even games to work with Ideas 
and feelings. For example, you mtaht do Some 
actlns (role-playing) or drawing. ., or make 
lists, charts, or tape recordings. 



It is iupoj Laut to know that there are different kinds and wayg 
of counseling so you can pick a type of counseling that suits YOU. 

You can discuss with your counselor what kind of counseling you want. 



Tt Is hard to tell you exactly what happens In counseling. 8ut hare 
Is generally what you can expect. And here are some DOs and OQjVJs 
to help make counsel lag work for you. 


To basin, you and the counselor 
will get to know each other... 
by talking about yourselves... 
and yon will talk about what 
you want to do In counseling. 

DO check the counselor out. Ask all the questions you want. 

~*You need to know tftla person If you are going to trust him (or her) 

DON'T think of the counselor as "over" you like a boss or teacher. 
Think of the counselor as Just a PERSON, a friend. 

J>£> talk freely and honestly about what you think and what you feel. 
And expect the counselor to do the same. 

QP know that the counselor Is not supposed to tell others what you 
say. Ask about this. 


You and your counselor will work together on whatever you feel Is 
Important. Talking or doing, quietly or actively. You way set Into 
your Ideas and feelings deeper than usual, explore yourself, make 
things clearer. 

DO work with your counselor to decide what to do 5in counseling. 
""Think of you and your counselor aa partners, working together. 

DOM'T expect your counselor to do all the talking;. 

"four counselor will want to do a lot of listening. 

DO??'T expect your counselor to give you & lot of advice. Or to 
""Tell you what to do. Or to tell you what is right and wrong. 
Or to have a LI the answers, 

DO expect your counselor to work with you, help you decide what 
"to do. Help you give yourself advice. Help you decide what 
you think is right. Help you find your own answers. 

ro expect your counselor to suggest new things you might try. 
And to tell you what he (or she) honestly feels about you. 

D$ tell your counselor when you disagree. Do say how you 
honestly feel about .your counselor. Do let your counselor 
know how you think counseling is going. 


EtiOim COVtiStLltlG 

You and your counselor Kill 
docida together when counsel ins 

13 You will probably 
snd by talking over what has 
happened . 

DOy.'JT drop out of counseling without telling your counselor. 
Ending together Is an Important part of 

DO faal free to coma back to your counselor (or another counselor) 
l&tar, if ^oil want to. 

HOW TO 6gT COurl SgLlrt G- 

There are e. numbar of counselors. 

Different types. With different ways of doing things. 

Shop around. Ask around. 

Choose a counselor you feaL you can trust and be comfortable with. 

Here are three ways you can find a counselor. 


Your school counselor can either be 
your counsel or ... or can help you find 
another counselor. 

Your school counselor can answer any 
more questions you have about 
counseling, too. 


Vour friends or family (or anyone 
else you are close to) may know a 
good counselor. 

A person who works with people 
(a. teacher, coach, minister, doctor, 
nurse, club leader, social worker) 
Is likely to know how to find a 
coun se lor . 


There are several places in Alachua. County 
that you can call to talk about counseling. 

One of them is... 


37.5 -46" 36 

You can call them any tune, day or night. 
They can answer your questions about 
counseling or help you find a counselor. 


Counselor Talk 

Hello. My name is and I'm a counselor. 

For the last five years, I have been working with high-school- 
aged people and their families as a community agency counselor. 

My purpose in "being here is to talk a hit about coun- 
seling. I have a brief prepared talk --it takes about fifteen 
minutes--and then I hope you'll have comments or questions and 
that we can open up a discussion back and forth, that you'll 
tell what you think. 

As a counselor, one thing I've discovered is that most 
people don't know as much as they'd like to know about coun- 
seling. And without understanding it, it's hard to know how 
ot use counseling or when, or even whether, you want to use 
the services. 

You see, counseling is a relatively new thing, just 
beginning to catch on. And in the short time that counseling 
has been around, we counselors have not done all we could in 
getting the message around what it is that we do . I hope 
that this talk will help you understand counseling, in case 
you or someone you know might want to use counseling services 
sometime . 

I am talking about a lot of different kinds of counselors, 
not just the school counselors you may be familiar with: school 
counselors as well as counselors outside the schools, coun- 
selors in community agencies and sometimes private counselors. 
More about this later. 


When to see a counselor . Let me start by talking about when 
to see a counselor. When you think of counseling, you 
probably think of someone who has a problem of some sort and 
goes to a counselor to work on this problem. That is right, 
but that's not all there is to it. 

Since problems are a normal part of life, something we 
all have every day, since everyone has problems, questions, 
decisions to make, who can go to a counselor? 

The answer is anyon e, anybody who wants to. All you have 
to do is feel ready and find yourself a counselor. 

Some people think that the only time to see a counselor 
is when you have a pressing problem or a big problem or a 
certain kind of problem. Actually, there is no certain kind 
of problem to take to a counselor. Anything, whatever is 
important to you, big or small, is worthwhile for a counselor 
to deal with. 

If you have a pressing problem or something that is 
really big, a counselor is interested in dealing with that. 

If you don't have a certain problem but just want to talk 
In general about yourself and what's going on with you . . . 
or about a lot of little things ... or about a problem you 
might have in the future ... or about a decision you're 
making . . . all of these are welcome in counseling. 

Or if you have nothing clear in mind, but just think 
talking with a counselor seems like something you'd like to 
do. Maybe you'd like to just get to know a counselor, in case 
you might need, one some time. 


W hat kind of person is a counselor? As you know, each person, 
each of us, has certain interests and types of things we are 
especially good at. Some people are rather artistic and 
creative. Some like "books and studying. Some like activity, 
to "be outdoors, to work with mechanical things, and so forth. 
The counselor is usually someone who enjoys people. Take me. 
I know that for as long as I can remember, I have been fascin- 
ated with people, talking with people, meeting people, wondering 
about other people and what they think and how they do things. 
Just liking people. So it was pretty natural for me to wind 
up working with people as a counselor. And I think this is 
the way it is with a lot of counselors. 

Aside from being interested in people, a counselor has 
got to be trained in order to know how to help people. Coun- 
selor training has two partss one is school, books, research; 
the other is experience working with people, 

The school part of counselor training came for me after 
four years of college, in graduate school. This is usually 
the way it is, though not always. School for a counselor 
includes a lot of psychology, the study of human behavior, as 
well as special counseling classes on such things as how to 
leau groups, how to communicate with people, how to relate to 
people. There are also specialized counseling classes: drug 
counseling, counseling small children, and school counseling, 
for example. And classes in particular methods of counseling. 

The experience part of counselor training consists of 
going out and working with people, in groups or one-to-one. 


Counseling professors oversee this work to make sure the coun- 
selor is doing a good job. This is something like a teacher's 
internship, except it's for counselors. 

There are different kinds of counselors, of course. I 
mention this because, if you ever go to a counselor, you should 
know to check out the counselor to see if this is the right 
counselor for you. More about this later. 

Kinds of counseling . There are different kinds of counselings, 
too, for you to choose from. "Standard" counseling (you might 
call it) is one person and one counselor, meeting together, 
privately. Another kind of counseling that you're probably 
familiar with is group counseling. In group counseling, maybe 
6 to 12 people meet with a counselor together. Often group 
members have something in common, like being the same age or 
being interested in the same issues. 

Sometimes a counselor will form a counseling group for 
a special purpose, like dealing with feelings about school or 
thinking about marriage, jobs, and life planning. Some groups 
are to teach people better skills for living: for example, a 
group may learn how to be more assertive; that is, how to 
stand up for your rights and get what you want. Or a group 
may have no specific goal . . . just people coming together 
to share ideas and feelings and see where it goes. This can 
be called a "growth group." 

A third kind of counseling is family counseling. One 
type of family counseling is marriage counseling, a husband 
and wife meeting with a counselor together. Arid, contrary to 

what some people think, marriage counseling is not particularly 
for people whose marriage is in trouble; a couple may want to 
meet with a counselor to discuss decisions they are making-- 
for example, how many children they want to have~-or they may 
meet with a counselor to get to know each other in new ways. 

Another type of family counseling involves the whole 
family, mother, father, sisters, "brothers, even a grandmother 
or causin---whoever is considered to be part of the family-- 
meeting with a counselor to discuss family issues. 
What do you d o in counselin g? The first thing that comes to 
my mind is that counseling can deal with ideas, thoughts: What 
is happening? Who is it happening to? What do you want to do? 
What do you want? What do you like and dislike? What would 
you like to change? Things like that. This involves putting 
together facts, thinking them through, planning, making decisions 

A second thing that comes up in counseling is feelings. 
Emotions. Happiness . . . sadness , . . anger . . . joy . . . 
love . . . hate. What you feel. Sometimes even a headache or 
stomach ache that is connected to something going on in your 
life. Or even some fuzzy feeling that doesn't really have a 
name . 

The counselor sees feelings as signals that tell us what 
to do, and the idea is to read the signals, see what they mean. 

When you think of counseling, you may think of talking. 
And counseling can be just that: sitting and talking things 
through. Putting ideas and feelings into words is a way of 
getting them clearer and exploring them further. 


Counseling doesn't have to be only talking, though. Some- 
times there are counseling activities, designed to work with 
ideas and feelings. With your counselor, you might do special 
exercises which are like games. Or you might do role-playing, 
which is acting out situations to see how they feel or to try 
out new things. Or you might do some drawing or writing, use 
music, dancing, poetry. Or make lists or charts or tape 
.record yourself and play it back to see how you sound. 

It is important for you to know that there are different 
types and ways of counseling because you can help your coun- 
selor know what you would like to do in counseling, what would 
be most interesting, helpful, and comfortable for you. 
What is co unseling like ? I can't tell you exactly what will 
happen if you go to a counselor, but I can give you a general 
idea and tell you some things you can do to help counseling go 

First , . , Let's say that you go to a counselor sometime. 
When you and your counselor first meet, you will probably start 
off by getting to know each other, telling about yourselves. 
The counselor may ask you some questions and you can ask the 
counselor some questions. And, as you are getting to know the 
counselor, you should be chacking out the counselor to see if 
this is someone you can trust and feel comfortable with. You 
may want to ask the counselor questions to help you know where 
he or she is coming from and how the counselor feels about 
certain things. 

Expect the counselor to be very open and honest v/ith you. 
And see if you can be open and honest with the counselor in 

return. As you get to know your counselor, you should feel 
you can talk freely with him or her, just the way you would be 
with a friend. Even if the counselor is older than you, you 
shouldn't have to worry about being too "polite" or making a 
good impression. The idea is to come out and say what you 
mean, what you really want to say. And the counselor should 
be that way with you too. 

By the way, the counselor is not supposed to tell other 
people what you say together. To make sure about this, ask 
the counselor about confidentiality. 

Then ... as counseling goes on, you and your counselor 
will work together to decide what you want to do in counseling, 
what you want to talk about or what you want to accomplish. 
You and your counselor should decide this as partners, and the 
counselor will probably leave it mostly up to you. 

Don't expect your counselor to do a lot of the talking. 
Some counselors like to do a lot of listening. 

Also, don't expect your counselor to give you a lot of 
advice, to tell you what is right and wrong, to tell you all 
the answers. Instead, counseling may work like this. The 
counselor will work with you to help you sort through your own 
feelings and ideas ... to get them clearer, maybe, to help 
you lay them all out so you can look at them . . . and then 
help you figure out what to do and what is right for you , help 
you find your own answers. 

Your counselor may give you an opinion now and then and 
will tell you what he or she is thinking. But your counselor 


wants you to take it or leave it. To feel free to disagree 
and to say exactly what you think about the opinion. 

Also, it's important to let your counselor know what you 
think about what goes on in counseling, whether you think it's 
going in the right direction and whether you are getting what 
you want from counseling. 

Ending counseling ... At some point you and your coun- 
selor will decide that counseling is finished, that you have 
done what you wanted to do. You will probably end by talking 
over what you've done in counseling and talking about what 
you will do next. And say good-bye. But you should know that 
after counseling you can always come back later or go to another 

How to get cou nseling. Suppose at some time you decide you 
would like to try counseling, where can you find a counselor? 
I am going to tell, you several ways to find a counselor. The 
important thing to remember is that there are a lot of coun- 
selors to choose from. Different types with different ways of 
doing things. And you can shop around, ask around, and find a 
counselor you feel you can trust and feel comfortable with; your 
type of counselor. 

One way to get into counseling is through your school 
counselor. You school counselor can either be your personal 
counselor or can help you find another counselor outside the 
school. Your school counselor can, of course, also answer any 
questions about counseling that you may have. 

Or, suppose it's summer or you're not in school or that 
you don't want to go to your school counselor. Another way 


to find a counselor is to ask people you know. Your friends 
or family or anyone you are close to may know a good counselor 
that they can recommend. Or, any person who works with people 
is likely to know some good counselors. You can ask a teacher, 
your coach, the minister of a church, a doctor, nurse, social 
worker, club leader. Any of these people who work with people 
may help you find a counselor. 

A third way to get counseling is by telephone. There are 
several places that you can call to talk about counseling. One 
is (written on blackboard) the Information and Referral Service, 
375-46 36. You can call this number and tell them what you 
have in mind and they can discuss with you some different ways 
to get a counselor. 

In this county there are many, many agencies that provide 
counseling services. Some specialize in counseling young people 
Some deal with particular areas, such as jobs, drugs, planning 
your life. And many provide general counseling for anyone who 
wants it. These agencies are often free or very low in cost. 
The Information and Referral Service, If you call them, will 
discuss these agencies with you and help you decide which ones 
are right for you. 

Another idea is to call the service and ask to speak 
directly to a counselor. They can connect you, right then 
over the phone, to a counseling volunteer who will talk to 
you for a while. You can tell what is on your mind and talk 
it through with the volunteer. You don't have to give your 
name, if you don't want to. This volunteer counselor can help 

you decide if you want to see a counselor or not and can help 
you get an appointment with one. 

You can call the Information and Referral Service any 
time, day or night, even at four o'clock in the morning. If 
they are very busy, they may ask you to call hack in a few 
minutes, but they will always talk to you. ■ 

Now, I wonder what questions you have and what you think about 
all this. 


Participants' Written Comments 

One-fifth of the 645 participants in the study responded 
to the optional section of the questionnaire which asked, 
"Would you like to make any further comments ahout counseling?" 
Nearly three-fourths of those commenting were girls. Sixty- 
five (or 30%) of Caucasian females and twenty-six (21$) of 
Black females wrote remarks while thirty (16%) of Caucasian 
males and only five (5%) of Black males did so. The comments 
were necessarily brief, as students were limited to the class 
time remaining after the main part of the survey was completed. 
Although the youngsters who wrote comments cannot he con- 
sidered a representative sample of youth, their remarks are 
useful in understanding how high school students view coun- 
seling. They provide insight into how counseling perceptions 
are formed and point to some of the important factors influen- 
tial in help seeking. 

The written responses fell into several categories. The 
largest group expressed general perceptions of counseling, 
either positive or negative. Many of the favorable comments 
were unqualified and exuberant endorsements of counseling. 
Where would be be without it. (W.WM.IO)* 

I think counseling is something that people would 
like all over the world. (0,BF,9) 

*The parenthetical notation following each comment indi- 
cates the commenter's treatment group (W, Written; 0, Oral, 
Cb, Combination; Ct, Control), race, sex, and grade level. For 
example, a control subject who was a Black female in the tenth 
grade would be coded thus; (Ct,BF,10). A dash (-) indicates 
missing information. 


It can really help people. (0.WM.9) 

I think counseling is really helpful and necessary 
and I am grateful for it. I have been thinking ahout 
going into counseling as a profession. (Ct,WF,10) 

1 think that counseling is a good way of helping 
people with their problems and it has probably saved 
someone's life. (Gt, BF.ll) 

I think its a great help. (Cb, BF,U) 

I think counseling is helpful. (Cb,BM,10) 

I think counselors are good because they help a lot 
of people. (Cb, WF.9) 

It helps a lot of people out. (W,WM,12) 

I think counseling is a great thing. If only we 
could get more and better counselors. ^u,WJ?,ix; 

Other favorable comments were more thoughtful statements. 
Often the students indicated that they simply appreciated the 

idea of having someone available to talk to. 

I feel that counseling is a very good program. 
This way people do have someone they can turn to. 
(Cb, WF.ll) 

I feel that counseling is really good for students. 
When they have problems they will have someone to 
talk to about them. (0,WF,9) 

I like the counselor in our school. He understands 
problems when you need him and if you have anything 
to talk about. He is willing to help you. (Gt, BF,9) 

I think it is a good thing for people in need of 
someone to talk to and help them with their worries. 

I think that counseling Is a very interesting thing. 
It shows that some people do care in the world. Be- 
sides, it's nice to talk to people about problems. It 
can make your whole day seem happier. (0, BF.ll) 

I think counseling is all right. It's very nice to 
have someone to talk to about what's on your mind. 


I like the idea about counseling because some stu- 
dents need to talk out their mind and feelings. 
( W , WF , 9 ) 

I feel that counseling is a good thing. It is good 
for people to have someone to talk to when they have 
a special problem about one thing or another. (W,WM,9) 

I feel that counseling is very good for people that 
have problems and can't live with them because they 
bother me so much. (Cb,WF,9) 

Counseling is a very good way to help a person find 
out what they really want in life, at least to me. 
(Ct.WF, 10) 

It's pretty fine and I don't dislike any of the guid- 
ance counselors I've known") and also I like sitting 
down and rapping with a counselor. (W,WF,9) 

It's pretty nice for people who need help or need a 
job. (W.WP.9) 

I think that it is a great project because without 
it there would be a lot of people In the wrong classes 
and wouldn't understand anything, and there would be 
some pretty depressed kids. (W,WM,9) 

I took part in a couple of group counseling sessions 
here at school and found it interesting. I think 
counseling is very necessary in today's society. 

I am a counselor's aide and I enjoy being around and 
helping people with their problems. I have talked with 
our counselor many times about a good many things, not 
only problems, and it's helped me feel much better about 
myself. (Cb.WM.ll) 

In the tenth grade I was a Peer counselor and I enjoyed 
it a great deal. It helped me discover myself and I 
learned to help others. I wish they had peer counseling 
at this school. It would help many people. (W,WF,12) 

I think that counseling is very good. I've been helped 
very much by counseling. I think it's great if people 
don't even know you and want to help. I really believe 
it helps as long as they be honest. (Ct,WF,9) 

Among the unfavorable comments, some were terse and 
vehement . 



It stinks. (0,WM,9) 

Sorry counseling: (W.MM.IO) 

Man, it's a bummer. (W.WM.10) 

I like to stay as far away as possible. (0,WF,11) 

Other unfavorable comments cited specific complaints and 

dissatisfactions. Students were most critical of breeches of 

confidentiality and counselors' lack of sincerity and concern. 

I'm not sure if I can trust a counselor because I 
went to one once and talked to her about my Mom and 
Dad and she told them everything. (Ct,WF,9) 

We had a counselor one time that told my parents 
everything that I told her in confidence. I don't 
think that a counselor should do that. (Ct, WF,9) 

I think they should have counseling but I don't like 
the way they go and tell your parents what you have 
talked about. But I guess if you don't want your 
parents to know you wouldn't tell the counselors. 

If it's a true confidential person. Here it seems 
that they are only out to do it the easy way without 
changes and for the educational point of view. Not 

really willing to give a about my part. They 

always know what I need and supposedly want. HA I 

I knew a few counselors but most of them were bleeding 
hearts. (W,WM,10) 

I think these questions are put forth in an extremely 
poor manner. Of course, you would expect a counselor 
to be competent in all these areas. The trouble is 
they very seldom are. You come to a counselor with 
expectations of being helped. One should expect that 
a counselor would be apt in these areas, but unfortu- 
nately they seldom are. (W,WF,12) 

I believe if assigned a counselor and don't think he 
or she is helping or even trying to help, there should 
be a way to change counselors. P.S. I have a counselor 
and. he doesn't really talk about nothing but how good 
his son and his grandson is. (ct,WF,10) 


Counseling sometimes can be used very successfully 
but sometimes being a counselor goes to their head 
and they think of themselves as the top of the totem, 
which is bull crap. (Ct.MW.10) 

Well, most counselors I've been to such as school 
counselors and a youth counselor, they've always 
told me what they think I should do instead of trying 
to let me make up my own mind or really to come to a 
decision or understand what in going on. (0,BF,12) 

They should be more up to date people of all ages. 

I feel counseling is an excellent means of finding 
out "who" you are and what you want to do with yourself. 
But I feel that they shouldn' t exert pressure in a 
(We have a counselor here at this school that exerts 
a lot of pressure.) (W,WF-) 

I've tried to talk to my counselor about bad teachers 
I have and they won't even listen. They say it's all 
the student's fault and you get the same routine-- 
teacher, right, student, wrong. They don't know how 
a teacher can be. (Ct ,WF ,9) 

Some counselors act as if it's a job listening to 
others' problems; others really get into trying to 
help people. We need more like this. (W,WM,11) 

A lot of times when you go to see a counselor about 
a problem, you're knocked down before you've fully 
explained what you want done. (W,WF,12) 

Often counselors seem to have a plan which conflicts 
with your interests already set up for you. (Ct.WM.ll) 

Counselors shouldn't push themselves on people, usually 
if a person doesn't have anyone to confide in, he or 
she will go willingly. (Cb,WF,ll) 

After a tragic thing has happened in the family or 
with friends, I don't think a counselor should ask 
you right away if you want to talk about it or discuss 
it. They should wait a while or until you come to 
them. (O.WF.ll) 

I guess it's okay. But from where I've been a lot of 
counselors are just doing a job. To me you seem to be 
a. very caring person . ( Cb , WF , 9 ) 


I personally would not go to a counselor. The whole 
thing is really dumb. Most of them could care less 
about you. And a few are pushy and overly nosey and 
turn you off before you say anything. If you want 
counseling you should go to them, not them say any- 
thing to you, especially about your personal life 
because it's none of their business. (0,WF,11) 

I don't really get what I'm looking for in counseling. 

I don't have much faith in counselors probably because 
the ones I've been around are fake and they seem to 
be very mosey instead of trying to help and understand 
yo u . ( W , WF , - ) 

With the experiences I've had with counselors (mostly 
high school) I find that they really don't care about 
me as a person with a future. They only say and do 
that which they think or want for me. They are care- 
less and don't really keep you up to date. (W,WF,12) 

I really am not pleased with counselors. Maybe it's 
because when you are discussing problems with them 
they like to vary away the problem into more personal 
matters that have no connection with your problem. 
One of my middle school counselors would call students 
in the office just to be nosey and ask questions about 
personal and family matters that weren't any of her 
concern. (Ct,BF,10) 

I think that you can talk to them and they won't go 
telling everybody. I don't like it when they trick 
you into things that you don't want to do. (Ct,WF,9) 

I don't have any confidence in counseling for myself 
personally. From my experience, I have found that 
the counselors I have come in contact with are not 
interested in me as a person or my problems and ques- 
tions. They are merely interested in doing their jobs 
to the minimum and putting on a "good" front. (W,WF,12) 

At present my counselor helps me a great deal but some- 
times I feel as If she's not helping me at all, sometimes 
even against me. (Ct,-F,ll) 

Another group of students discussed their willingness to 
use counseling. Many were quite introspective and some dis- 
closed particular apprehensions and doubts. A few expressed 
the attitude t "It's fine for someone else." 


I don't think that I would go to a counselor nor do 
I think. It would help me. I have a good relationship 
with lay parents and can go to them for any help I need 
instead of going to a perfect stranger. (W,WF,12) 

Well, in a way I think that a counselor just helps you 
with your problems but doesn't really get involved 
because they have a lot more people than you to help. 
So this is what I feel. Although I would like to see 
a counselor about my future, but I don't think I could 
be as open with my problems dealing with guys and 
dating. So I guess that's all. (W.Y1F.9) 

I doubt I would intentionally seek counseling (from 
a designated counselor) of any special type. If, how- 
ever, the opportunity presented itself, a counselor- 
was around and I felt I could tak with him/her, I 
would take advantage of the opportunity. (0,WM,12) 

I have never been counseled or been to a counselor and 
doubt I will because I don't have trust In them for my 
personal problems. (W,WM,9) 

I am the kind of person that's always willing to talk 
about my problems even if it may hurt me a little. 

I think that this survey is hard to answer because 
you would not be able to answer it unless you had 
experienced it. Some people can't just come right out 
and tell a person (no matter who the person is) certain 
problems. (O.WM.ll) 

I've had two different psychiatrists before which have 
helped me in some ways. I don't mind going to a coun- 
selor for help, but I am just worried about people 
finding out. (0,WM,9) 

Well, I think counseling is Important but I think I 
would have a hard time talking about certain problems 
with a person I don't know. (Cb,WF,9) 

That was very nice of you to come talk to our class, 
but I still would fee] dumb going to a counselor about 
sex, drugs, and my family. (0,WF,10) 

I can't be helped. (W.WM.ll) 

At times there would possibly be subjects I wouldn't 
particularly care to discuss with anyone (and would 
feel I didn't need to). (W,WF,12) 


Part two /of the questionnaire/ is very good and I 
think I would like to contact a counselor in the near 
future about everything in part two. (Cb,WM,12) 

I think a counselor is a worthwhile person to "be 
involved with, and I wish I hope I can talk to a 
counselor because I need one. They are very much 
worth it if I can find the right one. (0,BF,11) 

I am the kind of person who tries to work out his 
problems by myself. I keep them bottled up until I 
can see the problem clearly. (W,WM,12) 

Yes, I may like to try it even if it's just once. 

All I have to say is when I feel I should know some- 
thing and don't, I go and discuss it with my counselor 
Mrs. A--. Some don't. Some don't even know her name. 

I think it's great for some people but not for me. 

I do not have these problems. (W,BM,11) 

It's all right for those who want to run their jaw. 

Some students told what they consider important attributes 

of counselors, sometimes alluding to items on the expectancies 

scales of the questionnaire. Others made suggestions for 

improving counseling services. 

If I went to a counselor, I would expect he or she to 
be completely honest. Because if the counselor Isn't 
honest, how can you expect the person to be honest. 

I think it is mostly important for a counselor to 
be open-minded and recognize people as being unique. 

The main thing I would expect in a counselor is that 
he or she accept me as I am and be honest with me: 
(W.WF, 12) 

To keep what was spoken private. (Gt,WF,9) 


The counselor should mainly CARE , By that I mean he 
should want to help and do all he can to help. (0,BF,10) 

Counseling doesn't have to he so the counselor solves 
all of your problems and worries while you go carefree. 
It should he so the person will he able to figure him- 
self out and learn how to care for himself and his 
problems . ( W , WF , 10 ) 

I feel that a counselor should he aware of people and 
their problems and not just doing a job. (C,WF,11) 

I would not expect a counselor to be a know- everything 
type of person. (W,WF,12) 

I think it could really help people if the counselor- 
was understanding mostly. I would like to be a coun- 
selor myself. (0,WF,9) 

I think that they should have at least two types of 
counselors in each school, one that will talk to you 
about school problems and the other one to help you 
with your personal problems and really try to help you 
instead of playing games with you. (Cb,WF,ll) 

I think that a counselor should be available at all 
times because there is no telling when you will need 
them. (Ct,WF,10) 

I feel that the most important part of a counselor's 
job is career-related. Help you get into or out of 
certain classes, college preparation, etc. (Ct,WF»ll) 

I feel counseling is mainly dealing with the problems 
of school. Family matters seem a little personal, but 
if it's Interfering with one's work at school, it's a 
must. It's good If it's kept between the counselor 
and the student and doesn't go any further than the 
two people. (ifl/.BF.ll) 

Counseling has always been of benefit to me. Our school 
has excellent counseling. I feel that Alachua County 
needs more qualified counselors because there are a lot 
of students in need. I think the counselor-student 
relationship needs to get closer because If a student 
knows his counselor is cool, he'll spill himself to 
the counselor. (W,WF,12) 

Several students wrote that they had career interests in 
lounseling and related professions. 


I think counseling is great. After I finish school 
I want to be a counselor too. I like people a lot. 
I know people and how they feel. (Cb,BF,10) 

I've always been interested in counseling, I've 
really thought about being one. I'm sort of a 
counselor now. My friends talk to me a lot about 
their problems. The counselor here has helped me 
with my problems more than anyone. (0,WF,11) 

It seems like a very interesting job to do. Counseling 
is something I want to do. (0,BM,~) 

I am planning on a type of job that goes along with 
counseling I want to be a counselor In a juvenile 
detention center or places related to places like 
that. I work in a halfway house for mostly people 
who are on drugs and need help getting off, during 
t he s umm e r . ( C t , WF , 9 ) 

When I grow up I want to be psychiatrist. I think it 
would be fun and interesting. I like helping people 
or think I would. (Cb, WF.10) 

I think that counselors have a good job because there 
are a lot of people that need counseling. (W,BF,12) 

I think counseling is a very good thing. I am thinking 
about going into social work which will involve coun- 
seling so the discussion and survey helped. (Cb,BF,ll) 

Is there a type of counselor that travels, be their- 
self, get good money, but doesn't go to school more 
than k years? ( , BF , 10 ) 

Finally, a few youngsters provided feedback to the researcher 

regarding the experimental materials and procedures. 

I think It's kind of boring to talk kS minutes. (0,WM,9) 

I think you did a good job on your presentation. 

I learned a lots about counseling. (Cb, WM,9) 

Thanks for coming to our school. I really got a 
better me an I rig . ( , BF , 9 ) 

It was a very good program. (Cb,BM,10) 

Thank you for coming. It helped me a lot about what 
counseling was and how it worked. (Cb,WM, 11) 

V ery bo ring . (0 , WM , 10 ) 

This was a dumb survey. (Ct ,1/\IF, 11) 

In this sheet the only way you can answer the questions 
is to take 90f* of your feelings for granted. (O.WF.ll) 

I think this would work better with people who have 
been to a counselor because if you haven't been you 
do n ' t kno w what t o expe c t . ( , -F , 10 ) 

Several recurring ideas run through the youngsters' comments, 
making it possible to generalize somewhat regarding student 
perceptions of professional help. For example, the comment ers 
very frequently referred to school counselors. Immediately 
before writing their comments, most of the students had received 
presentations of information which focused on counseling in 
general and specifically discussed community counseling re- 
sources. Even so, the students seemed to equate counseling 
with counseling in the schools. Personal experience, in the 
form of contact with school counselors over the years, undoubtedly 
overshadowed the effects of the brief information. Impressions 
appeared to be based not only on experience in actual coun- 
seling sessions but also on casual encounters with school 
counselors, scheduling and advisement conferences, and even 
observations from afar. In several cases, moreover, a single 
critical incident or a particular relationship with a school 
counselor colored a youngster's overall impression of counseling. 

In discussing their willingness to use counseling, the 
students conveyed in their own language the difficulty which 
comes with exposing one's inner self, the fears and doubts which 
accompany disclosure, and the pleasure and relief which are 
found when there Is someone who will listen and be sensitive. 


It was apparent that the student comment ers were more concerned 
with human and relationship factors than with counselor's 
skills, competence, training, and professionalism. Although 
they felt that counselors should he able to help them, they 
mainly wanted someone accessible and easy to he with, not quick 
solutions and advice. As one girl wrote, "Counseling doesn't 
have to he so the counselor solves all your problems . ... It 
should he so the person will he atle to figure himself out and 
learn how to care for himself and his prohlems." The comments 
echo the necessary and sufficient conditions for therapy deline- 
ated by Carl Rogers: Clients are attracted to counselors who 
project caring, acceptance, understanding, honesty, and 

Unfortunately , perceptions of school counselors were not 
always favorable. As many of the students' comments were nega- 
tive as were positive. In the eyes of some youngsters, 
counselors were insensitive and deceitful, untrustworthy and 
manipulative, "fake," "pushy," and "nosey"--more interested in 
keeping the institution running smoothly than in helping 

For letter or worse, the Impact of school counselors Is 
evident. Though there have been many discussions of the school 
counselor's role and function, little attention has been given 
to the importance of school counseling in the formulation of 
early attitudes toward help seeking, which may well carry over 
into youngsters' adult lives. For students coming through the 
public schools today, the high school counselor may be not only. 



the primary purveyor of the counseling image hut also a most 
powerful influence on overall attitudes toward the use of 
mental health services. 


Carol Lee Klopfer was Lorn in Alexandria, Virginia, on 
July 30, 19^5, the daughter of Virgil Jay Klopfer and Margaret 
Houchens Klopfer. She grew up in east Tennessee and attended 
the University of Tennessee , Knoxville, graduating in 19&7 
with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and speech. From 
I967 to 19?0 she was a secondary school English teacher in 
Georgia and Florida, and from 19?0 to 1972 she was a communi- 
cations teacher at the Career Education Center, an alternative 
school for disadvantaged and drop-out -prone youth in Jackson- 
ville, Florida. In 1972 she "began work toward the Specialist 
in Education degree in the Department of Counselor Education 
of the University of Florida. Upon receiving this degree in 
1974, she entered the doctoral program in Counselor Education. 

Since 3-972, she has been on the staff of Counseling, 
Research, and Education Specialist Teams (Project CREST) , and 
she is currently CREST Team Leader in Alachua County. 

She is a member of the American Personnel and Guidance 
Association, the Association for Humanistic Psychology, the 
Alachua County Juvenile Committee, and the Coordinating Staff 
of Olecranon Growth Center and Learning Community. 


I certify that I have read this study and that in my 
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly 
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, 
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 


E. L. Tolbert, Chairman 
Associate Professor of 
Counselor Education 

I certify that I have read this study and that in my 
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly 
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, 
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

y so __../-■ /> 

u Larry/tn Loelch 
AssJ-Stant Professor of 
Counselor Education 

I certify that I have read this study and that in my 
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly 
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, 
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

C^> T" 2/ 

Everette Hall 
Associate Professor of 

This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the 
Department of Counselor Education in the College of Education 
and to the Graduate Council, and was accepted as partial ful- 
fillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of 

December 1977 

Dean, Graduate School